We decided this year with Klai that we would NOT have a birthday party with friends, just a family party. So she thought that a date with Mom & Dad would be part of her gift/party. As her birthday is approaching we quickly decided that today was the perfect day to go out. So as the day began & progressed we went to the beach & the plan was when we got home from the beach we would get ready, Dad would pick us up & we would set out on our date. I braided Klai’s hair, she put on her pretty pink dress & “high” heel shoes, she was just beeming. Jase was a bit late, so we jumped in the car & headed out.
We decided to go to Ihop for a quick dinner & we knew they would sing her a Happy Birthday Song. We got in, I prepped the waitress that we had a special birthday & we were in a hurry because we had to catch a movie in 45 minutes.
Well we ordered, Klai & I attend the bathroom & when we came back I noticed that I DIDN’T have my wallet. (I took it out of my purse & put it in the beach bag…why I did that..hmm…) I didn’t worry because Jase ALWAYS brings his. I asked him if he had cash & as he checked his face went white & his eyes bulged. Oh no I thought. NO he is joking, he HAS to be joking. He asked me if I had mine..”NO, did you leave it in the car?” He didn’t, I didn’t believe him. OH MY GOODNESS. what do we do? The food was ordered, I instantly thought..I am going to have to do dishes for my food…aaaahhh. Jase ran out to the car to DOUBLE check, & I went to the waitress. So embarrassed, quietly I explained the situation. She asked me if she should cancel it, I asked her to wait to see if my husband had found his wallet in the car. I ran out & ran back into Ihop…and told her SORRY & if she could cancel it. She asked & he had already made it, I apologized over & over. As I am leaving (Klai following me…being such a big girl & didn’t seem phased by the awkward situation…maybe she didn’t understand fully..she’s a great kid..anyway..) the manager of IHOP came to me & said, just come & eat & you can pay us later. NO…I couldn’t do that I explained. He said “No, don’t worry about it, next time you are in town You can come & pay us back.” “REALLY? Could we really? (I didn’t want to dissapoint Klai, I would have never taken and not paid in any other situation) We will come & pay, give us a slip & we will come back tomorrow & bring money. I am so sorry & totally embarrassed,” I rattle on & on.
As the waitress seats us again, the guys in the booth next to us gave us some money. I exclaimed, “no, no we are fine now..” But they insisted & in my head I thought “This is your chance to accept service & bless them for serving” and I began to tear up & graciously accepted the money. Two guys at that booth gave us $20 each & in another booth an older couple gave us another $20. Much MUCH more than we EVEN needed for the food. I had to fight the tears. We thanked them over & over again.
We ate our dinner, and as we were finishing up the waitress brought out Klai’s Ice cream & they sang. But who came with them to sing, the Guys that gave us money. Seriously who are these AWESOME strangers.
We enjoyed our yummy dessert & was about to pay for dinner when the waitress explained that those guys picked up the tab as well. So on top of giving us money (which we thought was for dinner) they paid for our food, so we could use the money to pay for the movie. HOW totally amazing is this?!! I was so touched by the spirit & their generosity. I cried! So when we left we gave $20 to the waitress for her tip.
What a birthday gift…not just for Klai but for us. I will forever remember this day. This humbling & wonderful day. I have learned that there are so many wonderful people out there, out beyond our LDS borders. Thank you for this lesson.