To the Dad at the Mexican Restaurant

My family and a few friends were out at our favorite local Mexican restaurant. We decided to sit outside, what with the cool weather and five children in attendance. We were having a great time just sitting outside, guzzling cheese dip and margaritas.

At some point, I decided napkins weren’t doing the job getting my son’s hands clean from the cheese dip and refried beans. I decided to take him inside for an actual hand-washing.

When I got to the area where the restrooms were, I spotted a little girl, precious in her pink leotard and tutu, with legs crossed and anxious face, waiting with her dad for the men’s room to become available. And because my daughter has been that little girl before, I decided to take the chance.

“In a totally non-creepy way, would you like me to take your daughter to the bathroom?”

“Really? That would be great, actually. Um… she’s got to go number 2…”

“It’s alright. I can handle it.”

Cue me taking a stranger’s daughter to the bathroom, to go number 2, and all that that implies.

In that moment, it got me thinking. I really went out on a limb there! What if I had totally freaked that dad out? What if he had looked at my son, covered in beans, and said, “No way, Jose! You’re clearly a crazy woman!” But he didn’t. He saw me, son in tow, lending a helping hand. And they were both grateful.

What’s more is that we understood each other. I knew I’d just help that gal maneuver her leotard and help her wash her hands. He knew she’d get what she needed a lot quicker if she went with me. We both went out on a limb. And it worked out.

To that dad: Thanks for trusting in humanity. You gave me hope that I could do the same for my daughter. Thanks for being grateful later, when we were leaving and you asked your daughter to tell me “bye”. That was awesome. Parents helping parents is my favorite thing to see.

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