Ashley Wadleigh is a mother of three children who likes taking her children out to restaurants. The mother isn’t surprised when people sitting around them ask to be moved to another table, as she knows how hard it is to wrangle three kids to behave during dinner.
A Red Robin restaurant trip was upsetting for Wadleigh when the couple who sat next to them moved immediately away. The woman had hidden her face from the family.
Upset by the sudden move, Wadleigh learned the real reason why the couple exchanged seats and it wasn’t for what she thought.
According to the waiter she asked, the couple had recently experienced the loss of a child, and it was extremely difficult to be around other children.
Wadleigh felt tremendous guilt for her feelings – for judging them harshly without really knowing the truth. She paid for their bill and decided to share her experience with others to learn from her experience.
Sometimes what you see isn’t what you think it is.
In her post, she said she went to Red Robin and wanted to sit in the section where a server she knew was waiting tables. The woman at the nearby table looked immediately uncomfortable, covering half of her face with her hand. Her husband stood up and spoke with the server, and the couple moved to another area of the restaurant.
This wasn’t uncommon, Wadleigh wrote. She said she was angry that they would immediately move before giving them a chance. Wadleigh wrote that when she asked the waiter why they moved, his response was that the couple recently lost a child.
Wadleigh said her heart sank and she instantly felt horrible for the woman. She was upset with herself for judging them without even knowing the truth. Wadleigh decided to pay for the couple’s bill and asked the server not to let them know who did it.
But, the couple knew, and as they were leaving, the woman stopped her. She was trying not to cry, Wadleigh said. She wanted to explain the move, but Wadleigh just hugged her. The woman thanked her.
Wadleigh said she felt horrible about their loss, but was grateful for the encounter. It was a reminder of two things:
You can’t be quick to judge somebody because you don’t know what they’re going through.
Parents should spend as much time as they can with their children because life is never guaranteed.