People watching is the best show on earth...

Mar 12, 2008

Pancake Euphoria

. Mar 12, 2008


I’m grabbing a bite at a neighborhood charbroiler near and dear to locals’ hearts. As usual, the place is buzzing with customers and I’m happy to find a stool at the counter that faces large windows overlooking the street, instead of the kitchen. There are a handful of tables outside, along the restaurant’s perimeter. Those are also occupied by people enjoying late breakfasts.

In front of me, on the other side of the window, sits a family of three with a cherub-cheeked little boy. He is white, perhaps five, with dark brown curly hair and deep brown eyes. He sits behind a pile of pancakes on his plate. With each bite, he pours more maple syrup atop the remaining stack until his mother gently removes the bottle from his reach.

He eats happily, smiling and patting his tummy every few bites. His parents talk to him and all three laugh easily throughout the meal. When every bit of pancake is gone, the boy dips his finger in a pool of syrup on his plate and swirls it around. Before he can bring the maple finger to his mouth, his mother intercepts it and wipes it clean with a napkin. He says something to her with great enthusiasm on his face. She replies and after a few moments, both come inside and walk towards the ordering counter.

I hear his mother ask the cashier to get the cook and I wander up to the condiment area to listen better. A Hispanic man appears in a cook’s uniform and the boy beams up at him:

Mom: Go ahead, honey.
Boy: Um, uh, hi!
Cook: Hi.
Boy: Um, Miss Johnson says that everybody has a job. And if somebody does their job good I should tell them. So I’m telling you. You make the best pancakes ever in my life!
Cook: Oh! Thank you.
Boy: You make the best pancakes! You should make them all day because they are really, really, really, REALLY good. Your pancakes are better than IHOP even!
Cook: Thanks a lot young man. You know what? You make me feel happy. I’m gonna be happy all day because you like my pancakes so much.
Boy: Yeah! You should be happy. You make good pancakes.
Mom: Thank you, we’ll see you later.

Mother and son walk away and continue down the street together. They leave behind a grown man in his cook’s outfit who is still smiling as he prepares someone else’s meal.

33 Whispers:

Steph Waller said...

What a wonderful story! It should remind us all to be more like that little boy, who has not yet become jaded by an attitude of entitlement.


Daisy said...

How sweet! This one made me start my day off with a smile.

job said...

yeah, wonderful story..always make people smiling..

IslandBaby said...

This is such a sweet story...Keep up the great blog!

Marce said...

Aaawww...thank you for something enjoyable to read while I drink my morning coffee. :)

Angie said...

Humanity redeems itself.

Thanks for this.


Lynn Emery said...

Beautiful. I put a link to this post on my blog Be Encouraged. Thanks once again for sharing such great posts.

Lori said...

I have to chime in with everyone else here - it was a great way to start my day while I drank my morning coffee.
Such a sweet story - that little man is more evolved than a lot of "grown-ups" I know. Bravo to him, and thanks to you for sharing it with us.

TripTheLady said...

such a nice story! you made me smile ;)

CastoCreations said...

That is SO sweet!!!!! You know that a cook like that probably NEVER hears that. This reminds me to take time when I'm super satisfied to go thank the cook.

What a great thing to teach a young person. =)

C. R. Morris said...

Hooray!!! What a breath of fresh air! Thank you so much for sharing this one! :-D

Vienne said...

Hello everyone! I was thrilled to have overheard this one. It was a special moment of innocence and pure goodness!

Like Steph says, the little boy was so honest and ture in his intentions. It was a refreshing and heart warming conversation.

Hello Daisy, Job, IslandBaby and Marce. I'm glad you stopped by and read this one at the start of the day! I am still remembering the big smile on the cook's face.

Nicely put, Angie!

Thanks for the link, Lynn. I'm going to check it out later! Glad you enjoyed this post.

Hello Lori, I want to freeze that little boy in time! I know they say with age comes wisdom, but sometimes children are the wisest of all.

Thank you, Tripthelady :)

Castocreations, I agree with you. The cook's reaction led me to believe he doesn't often get praise like that from customers. Afterall, he's hidden away in the kitchen. And here this young boy sought him out with mom's help. Fantastic.

Hi C.R., a breath of fresh air, indeed! I inhaled deeply. I mostly overhear somewhat offensive things, it seems. I was so happy to share an optimistic one.

The CL Experiment said...

What a great lesson she taught her son. How easy it is to brighten someone else's day. Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

That positively made me tear up. How sweet was that? What a great mom that kid has!

Choo Choo said...

What a wonderful example of paying it forward. I have a 5 year old boy & will encourage him to do the same; I know what effect a kind word can have, especially to someone working for a living.

Jon said...

Sounds like a young man overflowing with gratitude. I hope my little one shows as much as she gets older.

Vienne said...

Hello CL, I just loved that mom. You could easily tell she adores her son, but still sets boundaries, like when she took the syrup away. She looked so proud as he spoke to the cook. As you say, a wonderful lesson taught.

Karen, thanks for admitting your emotion! I got teary typing my post, remembering how touching the exchange was. I called myself a dork for shedding a few tears! I'm glad I'm not the only one :)

Hi Choo Choo, you sound like a parent committed to raising a thoughtful and empathetic child. How lucky for him.

Hi Jon, I can't get over how purely happy the little boy was to share his appreciation with the cook. It was so very refreshing and a great reminder of how to be a good human being.

CQ said...

What a touching post. Four months without proper internet access, and the first post of yours reminds me why I miss it.

Thank you, and I look forward to reading through your archives :)

cardiogirl said...

Love that! Now there's a mother who's thinking.

heather (errantdreams) said...

Wow. I wish more kids today were taught to do things like that!! What a fantastic way to make a person happy.

Dave Jenkins said...

Such a sweet story! Awww, keep it up.

NathanKP said...

Very nice blog. I like the eavesdropping idea, I've done it myself.

NathanKP - The Ink Weaver Collection - Book Review Blog

Robin Easton said...

SUCH A WONDERFUL OBSERVATION AND STORY!!! I just love it. You remind me of me...I am the sort that also enjoys observing human nature. I can't seem to stop myself -- people fascinate me. There is SO much to see, learn and experience in this way. When we are aware of the world around us we can find the most amazing people and events happening...and often it is the small but precious events that fill us with delight. They can even turn around a bad day. I am pleased that you are aware of your world. You have a gift. Robin

skip said...

this story is so sweet and cool.. i love this story~ :)
thanks a lot

Anki said...

lovely idea and a lovelier blog

Jessica said...

Leaves a smile on MY face, too :) Thanks for sharing.

Vienne said...

Hello Robin, thank you so much for your kind comment. I'm with you - there's so much to learn just from observing. My idea of a great day is a large cup of coffee and a bench for people watching, preferably in the sun! Human nature is, indeed, my window on the world.

I'm glad you enjoy the blog, anki. Thank you!

Hi Jessica, I still smile when I think of this memory. It was precious on so many levels.

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments. I really enjoy reading your reactions. Visit again soon!

Julia said...

Aww well that made me smile =)
What a lovely story!

Michele said...

what a touching story! I'm really glad I found this site. I can't wait to read more!

lisa said...

That is so sweet!!

I love pancakes 2.


Sarah Gaver said...

Great story. Made me smile all day at work, and then run home and make lots og pancakes :)

Annika, Sista minuten resor said...

Thanks for the wonderful story it definitely put a smile to my face. I have translated it to swedish and put it on my blog - I hope you don't mind.

Brian H. said...

Loved your story. Haven't had pancakes lately. But had french toast this week. keep up the great stories.


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