Restaurant Manager's Understanding Letter To Mom Of Girl With Autism Shows True Kindness

“Do you know what it is like to have a child with Autism?”

A letter penned by former restaurant manager Tony Posnanski to the mother of a girl with autism has gone viral, thanks to a Facebook post by Love What Matters.

According to his Facebook page, Posnanski was a manager at Chili's when he wrote the letter describing his encounter two years ago.

In a separate post to his wall, Posnanski wrote that the experience changed his outlook. "I realized that I could make life better for people in my own way," he said. "I loved what I did for the mother and daughter and it changed my mentality on things."

In the letter, he describes how he was asked to approach a mother and her daughter by customers who felt the little girl was being disruptive. 

Before he could say a word, however, the girl's mom asked him a simple question:

"Do you know what it is like to have a child with autism?"

Posnanski's post reads in part:

"You were not rude when you asked the question. In fact, you were quite sincere. Your daughter could not have been more than five years old. She was beautiful and looked scared that I was at the table. She looked like she thought she was in trouble.

In fifteen years I do not have a lot of memorable moments as a restaurant manager. I remember some guests who were mad that their burger was not the way they wanted it. I remember a woman who called corporate on me because she said I gave her a regular Coke instead of a Diet Coke. I remember having to cut people off from drinking alcohol and I remember having to tell tables to have their child be quieter.

However, I do remember everything about the day my son was born. How I cried when I heard him cry. How I stood there and told him I would do anything for him and be the best father possible. I remember the day I married my wife. How I cried and promised to be the best husband possible. I remember the day my daughter was born. I did not cry that day. I was just so relieved because I lost a child two years earlier.

I know what I was supposed to say when I went to your table. I was supposed to politely tell you to please not have your daughter yell. I was supposed to offer to move you to another area. I was supposed to offend you by not offending you…

I did not do any of that.

Instead I just told you I hoped your meal was awesome. I high fived your daughter and then I told you that your meal was on us tonight. It was only sixteen dollars. It meant more to me than that. I do not think the other guests I spoke to were happy about it. At that moment it did not matter to me."

Read the entire post here.

For more from Tony Posnanski, you may follow him on Facebook or check out his website.

Cover photo via Wikimedia/Ninjakeg.

(H/T: DowzerW)