Last week, we walked into Fuddrucker’s in Orlando ready for a quick and easy dinner. It’s our ‘go to’ place when we were are in Central Florida – it’s close to Disney and it’s never terribly crowded. We had no idea that a connection with a stranger at dinner would leave such an impact on our family.
After ordering our meals, we grabbed our usual table (yes, we always sit in the same place) and waited for our dinner to be delivered. A very friendly employee rushed over with a high-chair for Molly and was incredibly excited to see her, although we had never met him before.
Before we knew it, he explained to us that he was the father of a 16-month old daughter born with Down syndrome – instant connection! He told us the story of how their family had moved to Orlando from Puerto Rico so that she could receive better care and therapies. It was incredible to see how proud he was of his daughter.
As we were wrapping up dinner, he stopped by to ask if the girls were allowed to have chocolate – of course!! He came back with the biggest brownie sundae – just for them. It was such a simple, but thoughtful gesture.
In my family, we like to call it a ‘fraternity’ – parents of children with Down syndrome have been through the same struggles and fears – we know the fear involved and what its like to receive a diagnosis that your child has a disability.
But the amazing thing? I’ve never met another parent in this amazing fraternity that has played the ‘poor me’ card. The conversations we have with other parents are incredibly inspiring and uplifting.
It may have started out as just our usual dinner at Fuddrucker’s, but it made a lasting impressing on our family.. and I’m not just talking about the free brownie sundae.