Ashley England went with her family to dinner one night in order to get a break from cooking and spend some quality time with the people that she loves the most in the world. Many families do this nightly. It gives them a chance to bond and spend a meal together without worrying about the dishes that will need to be done later or who will set the table. But for Ashley, dinners out in public can sometimes be a little more stressful than most others.
Ashley has an 8-year-old son named Riley who lost his ability to speak at 18-months old. He began having seizures, and sometimes would have over 100 each day. He has gone through 3 brain surgeries to treat epilepsy, but he remains non-verbal. This can cause him to act out when he becomes frustrated and unable to communicate.
Ashley spoke about that dinner, saying “He threw the phone and started screaming. The past few weeks have been very hard and trying for us – especially with public outings. Riley was getting loud and hitting the table and I know it was aggravating to some people.”
They were packing up to leave the restaurant when the waitress comes by and stops them. “I’ll try to do this without crying, but another customer has paid for your bill tonight and wanted me to give you this note.”
God only gives special children to special people.”
“To have someone do that small act towards us shows that some people absolutely understand what we are going through and how hard it is to face the public sometimes. They made me cry, blessed me more than they know. Little did he know what struggles we had been facing lately and this was surely needed at that moment.”
People have a tendency to look down their noses at rowdy children in restaurants. They might run between tables and knock things over, or trip servers and other customers. Riley was obviously different from the children who would be making a scene just because they could, and the mystery table could see how hard his parents were trying. I hope this mom feels emboldened by the gesture! We all wish her the best!
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