I found myself alone with my boys the other night and dinner was not to be found at home so we decided to venture out.

Where did we end up going? Smashburger.

We hopped in the van and drove a couple of miles up the road and pulled into a spot near the front of the place.

My sons jumped out and ran inside quickly, screaming like a couple of maniacs.

After the screaming ceased and things got settled down I looked up at the menu board and mentally noted what I was going to order and my sons did the same.

Or at least were told to do the same.

As we approached the register, I gave the woman behind the register my order and then my boys proceeded to give their orders.

Of course, the task took about four times longer than if an adult had made the same order, but at least they did it on their own, which is progress.

The Woman Behind the Register

After we got through ordering, the woman behind the register started making small talk with the boys.

“Which one of you is the older one?”

“I am”, exclaimed my oldest. “I’m older by one minute,” he stated, his face beaming with pride.

Then the woman’s tone got a bit more serious.

“What would you do if you found $10 on the ground? What would you do with it?”

“I dunno… probably buy a video game…”, said my oldest.

“Nope, you need to give your brother half.  Brothers look out for one another.”

My boys looked a bit taken aback.  Especially the older one, who seemed to have been already trying to figure out which video game he was going to buy.

The woman continued.

“And, you know..  do you know who may be the only person you can rely on when you’re in trouble when you’re older?  Your brother!  Friends come and go, but your brother is always going to be there for you. You remember that, and respect him!”

My boys nodded in agreement.

She concluded her small speech with the following admonishment: “Always remember… Blood is thicker than water.

My boys looked a bit confused since they had never heard this phrase. But I appreciated it.

As I was about to turn around, she and I locked eyes and she very seriously said: “You know, that was some real talk.”

I said “Yeah I know”, perhaps conveying a bit less earnestness than the conversation warranted.

She followed up with “No, I’m serious. That stuff’s important.”

Seeing that she was taking the conversation seriously, I said “Yes it certainly is. Thank you for telling them that.”

After that final exchange, the boys and I sat down at a table while we waited for our order.

Small Surprises

I was doubly pleased that day.

Firstly, I was happy that someone outside the family reinforced a message of morality and the special relationship my boys should have toward one another.

Secondly, the fact that that woman actually took the time and initiative shows that there are still people out there that not only think like that but are willing to make an effort of improving the world, a little bit at a time.

So thanks Smashburger lady. You made an impact on at least three lives that day.

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