Eating out with a child can be difficult, but for some parents who have kids with autism, the stress that they endure during these dinners can be entirely different.
For Jamie Heustess and her little boy, it just depends on the day, and most of the time, Ian does pretty well at restaurants. However, when her family stopped at their local Cracker Barrel, her husband ended up having to take her son home before they ate a thing.
"After Chris and Ian left, our waitress came to ask if we were ordering. This was probably her fifth or sixth time stopping by the table," Jamie shared on the Love What Matters Facebook page. "I said yes, a to-go order, just for me."
Confused, the waitress asked if her husband or child wanted anything and Jamie explained that they had to leave to reduce the stimuli around Ian. "I told her Ian was autistic and had had a long day, awards, karate, Wal-Mart. His breaking point was the Nemo/Dory toy - that was neither of those characters," she explained. "By this time I was crying and having a moment, not because I was embarrassed that my son is autistic, but because he is a good kid and I didn't want anyone to think he was just a spoiled kid being a brat."
The gracious server said that she would get Jamie her order quickly. When the waitress returned 15 minutes later with Jamie's food, she informed her that the meal had been taken care of and that she didn't need to pay anything.
When the Georgia mom looked at the bag, she saw that there was a piece of paper stapled to it.
"I thought it was the receipt . . . no . . . it was something far more precious," she wrote. "In the midst of my own meltdown she reached out with words of encouragement and a kind heart: She wrote, 'Your child is amazing mommy. Be strong, keep your head up. You are doing a great job. Have a great night. Your server, Kailyn.'"
Kailyn's note is now hanging on Jamie's refrigerator as a reminder for the difficult times of the kindness of strangers.