Thursday, December 06, 2007

That crazy lady crying in the middle of Perkins? Yeah...that was me.

Something happened tonight that had me crying not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES while we were out to dinner with the kids.

It even made my Mom cry when I told her the story.

I didn't get home from work until 7pm because I stayed late and then had to run to my daughter's school for her conferences.

I get home and the kids are starving. DH and I are blah because we have to go pay for and pick up our car from the dealership because I broke it. (I didn't break it...the garage jumped out in front of ME when I was backing out!!) It snowed again today so the roads suck rocks.

We get to Perkins and get comfortable in a nice corner booth (if you aren't familiar with Perkins, it's like a Denny's, Embers, etc). When my 6yo daughter realizes that she is not sitting next to me, she has an absolute fit. She was exhausted (she gets up for school at 6am) and just lost her freakin' mind. She cried for about 15 minutes because she couldn't sit by me. I calmly explained to her that she couldn't act like this, yadda yadda yadda. I wasn't going to give in to her hissy fit and attitude either.

DH took her to the other side of the restaurant to try to calm her down and get her to relax to no avail.

I decided to try. At this point, we were planning to get our food boxed up as soon as it got there, get the kids home and put them all to bed.

She and I go to this quiet spot in the restaurant and just snuggled on the bench for a few minutes. I got her to calm down and explained that her behavior was inappropriate and why, explained why hissy fits aren't appropriate, etc. She was finally calm.

As we were walking back, I saw a man who looked exactly like Santa Claus (minus the red suit and hat). I pointed him out to my daughter and said "Who do you think that could be?"

Her eyes lit up, the frown was gone and girlfriend was AMAZED. Here, at Perkins in our little town, was SANTA CLAUS HIMSELF eating dinner!! She couldn't believe it.

We got back to our table and she started telling my 5yo son about it. He just HAD to see for himself so I got up and walked them over to the area where "Santa" was eating his dinner. I didn't want them to bother him but I did tell them they could peek.

It was so cute ~ they would walk up, peek around the booth, and then come back just wide-eyed and SO HAPPY that they saw Santa. They started talking about how his "deers" are up on the roof and waiting for him to finish. The entire time they were peeking at him, he didn't look up and make eye contact, smile or anything. I was hoping he wasn't mad but also figured he was used to it. I mean, dude looks EXACTLY like Santa...glasses, beard and all.

We get back to our table and it's like a totally different family. Everyone is happy and giggly, my daughter forgot that she was mad because she wasn't sitting by me, and DH and I were in an awesome mood because of how funny the kids were in regards to "Santa".

Our server had seen the kids sneaking peeks at Santa so I told her what was going on. His presence alone changed the course of our dinner from crappy and moody to fun and festive. I told her that we wanted to pay his bill because of this.

She left and then came back with his bill. She said that she didn't tell him we were buying his dinner but she DID tell him that he made a little girl's night. His response? "Noooo...she made my night."

*Cue crying episode #1*

As we were leaving, the kids wanted to walk by "Santa" again and wave goodbye. He waves us over and starts pulling something off of his key ring.

He says to my daughter "I don't have my santa bag here but I wanted to give you this for making me smile. It's a Shield of Faith."

It has a cross inscribed on the front and has some scripture (at least, I think it's some sort of scripture) in the back that says:

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

*Cue crying episode #2*

He then hands it over to my daughter and thanks us for making his night. Our server was watching the whole thing and was also grinning ear-to-ear. She said that we totally made her night as well.

My kids were ecstatic. I mean, first they see Santa eating dinner and then he gives them this? They were so happy.

We got in the van and started driving away when I decided to call my Mom and tell her about it. As I finished the story, I was crying all over again (crying jag #3) and then heard my Mom crying. She denied it but I could tell.

I'm telling you ~ that little experience tonight just warmed my heart. My kids couldn't stop talking about Santa and I feel like I witnessed something amazing.

I love good people.

(Crap ~ cue crying jag #4!!)

Here is a picture of the shield. Sure it's beat up but it was on his key ring! I told the kids that I would make a necklace out of it and they could share it.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I'm going to google this Shield of Faith to get some background on it. I just had to share this story. We aren't a very religious family but man...this just touched my heart!!


A J Doetkott said...

Heart warming. I'm so touched by your family and his generosity. Love yoU!

the real ~Roxann~ said...

Sarah....loved this story. Beautiful and very touching....

Last year on ds's 8th bday we were eating at Cracker Barrel (his choice) and we opened gifts at the table. Well, this man of about 50....stopped by the table and gave me son 3 - $1.00 bill and said, "Happy Birthday Little Guy! Buy yourself something fun!!" I bawled!! We took his pic w/ my son.... I was so touched!! I love it when people do stuff like that!!!!

When and if I ever get some money, win the lottery or inherit a large sum of money (not likely to happen, but if it ever did....) I am going to go to the gas station for an entire day and pay for every person's gas that comes thru there!! Wouldn't that be a blessing?!?!? I keep dreaming that someday someone will pay for my gas!

So happy this happened to your family....

Merry Christmas to the Hunzers!!!

acomedianswife said...

Damn it! Now you got me crying! Sounds like you had a little blessing last night. Merry Christmas!

Joni said...

That is such a cool story, and yes, you had me crying!

happy holidays!


*Southern Beall* said...

Awww!! Well, at least it was a good cry.

Angela said...

That is amazing!! Abolutely you experience something wonderful and even unspoken between all of you. That was awesome of you guys to point out but then pick up his tab and awesome of him to talk with the kids, too wonderful