“Yes, that’s a Subway receipt.
I am sitting here, after dinner, and I am just so touched. I feel the good in the world I just witnessed must be shared.
My son, Bryson, is 11 years old. He is going through a lot right now — I would say more than typical 11-year-old boys. His father and I are steadily working with him. First and foremost, is manners. I am trying to point it out to him when I see it. (It’s not as rare as one might think when you go looking for it only to show reciprocation.) But Bryson does have a sense of anxiety in certain social situations. This is one of those situations.
So tonight, while wearing a mask, he asked if it was illegal for him to go in alone and order his own dinner (at Subway in Hudson, FL). I was like, ‘Nope! As long as you wear a mask and use your manners.’ We even joked about how it’s not ‘no shirt, no shoes, no service,’ but it’s ‘you must have a mask, manners, and money.’
So, we went across the parking lot for him to head in alone. We reviewed his bread and cheese preferences. As he walked away repeating, ‘Italian herbs and cheese, white American cheese…’ over and over. He was bouncing as he walked. I almost held my breath the entire time. He was in there for what seemed like forever, but it was not long at all, in reality.
We could see him in line with one gentleman in front of him. I was saying, ‘Stay six feet apart.’ He did. I watched him walk up to the front of the line and start making his way down, making his sandwich. He was seemingly making his way through it. I swear I’m about to have a melt down from mommy mode. I see him hand her the crumpled up $10 bill. He waited calmly for his change. The person behind the counter got his change and then gave him his receipt. He squeezed his hand tight and came bopping out the door with a huge smile.
‘Dad, Mom, we have to call corporate! This woman was so nice to me. I got to the counter and she was so kind. I didn’t know what kind of sandwich, so I was looking. Oh, I did remember the bread and cheese! OMG, Mom, I did it! So, she told me all about what the sandwiches had in them, and she asked if I would like a BMT. She asked me how old I was, and I told her 11. She said the older boys like BMT sandwiches. It had what meats were on the sandwich, and I said yes, I would like that please. I used my manners, and she did too! Mom, can you believe I did it!?!? I feel so accomplished, Dad! She went one by one through all the toppings, and she was so patient. Even the mustard and mayo. I almost forgot salt and pepper.’ (Please know, this was all in the same breath, I swear.)
I asked if he got her name, and his eyes got big. ‘You better go back in, and ask her what her name is!’ So, he ran back in and found out her name is Sarah.
Now, for me as a mother, this is the way I could have only prayed this moment would have gone. Bryson is very smart, and we speak openly about things going on in the world. I am trying so hard to not let this world make him… I’m not sure what the word is. He is a true-blue, Georgia boy. I am trying to raise a gentleman. You know, manners and respect. I will keep trying until I die. I surly hope something clicks soon.
So, for Sarah to be so kind to take her time… She had no idea Bryson walked in repeating his bread and cheese. She didn’t know this was his first true experience ordering his food alone. She didn’t know the impact she would make. He chose to use his manners when nobody was looking. But for it to be reciprocated in such a genuine fashion, it just left him with positivity that shook to his core. He said it made him feel so good. I know it made her day to. He had the biggest smile I have ever seen in. It has been such a long time.
I did call and speak with her briefly, but I didn’t want to take too much of her time. I did find out my Bryson reminded her of her grandson. She said it warmed her heart to see him, and he had such good manners.
So, all in all, you Sarah, have impacted this young man’s life. He will never forget this, I promise. I think he was just enlightened to the true feeling of pride, based on his own actions (when nobody was really looking). For this, I thank you from the very bottom of my heart. His father and I appreciate you so much more than you knew when you handed him his change and he ran out the door. I can promise you, I heard him mumble to himself on the way home, ‘God, I love this feeling.’”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Alycia Anderson, 32, of Hudson, FL. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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