A dad was enjoying an evening out with his young daughter when their dining experience came to an unexpected halt. While out for dinner, the waitress brought over a note. Apparently, two strangers had been watching him with his little girl, and what they said left him in tears at his table.
Even though he was a single dad, it was obvious that the unnamed man had his priorities straight. Wanting to make his little girl feel special, the single dad decided to take his 6-year-old daughter out for a special dinner date, but he was not expecting that the meal would end in tears.
He could have taken out his current flame, but instead, he made his little girl his date on a special night. But, things were going to take a very unexpected turn. As the two enjoyed their meal at a restaurant called The Old Spaghetti Factory, they had no idea that two strangers were watching them as they giggled, laughed, and chowed down on some delicious pasta.
But, everything was about to come to light as the waitress headed to their table. As he sat there with his child, oblivious to being watched, the waitress slipped him a note. “I won’t lie, I teared up at the table,” he admitted in a post on Imgur, where he shared an image of the note he received.
“Hi, there! Sorry to spy, but my husband and I saw you out with your little date,” the message began. The strangers then left the dad in tears as they complimented his parenting. “[We] were so impressed with what a great Dad you are,” they continued. But, there was so much more to this message.
Then, they revealed an all too familiar reality, exposing the reason they had to say something to this single dad as he sat with his precious daughter. “From two adults who grew up without dads,” they humbly admitted, “it’s so important to have a male role model at a young age.”
Compliments weren’t the only surprise the strangers had for the father-daughter duo, though. “Keep up the good work Dad! Dinner is on us!” their note concluded, letting the dad know they wanted to reward him for doing what a man should but all too many don’t.
While this heartwarming story shows the kindness that can be found in our world today, it also points to a real problem. Too many fathers don’t take the time to be real dads to their children. Sadly, according to the Washington Times, fifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father. Although the number of dads in homes is on the decline, their importance in their children’s lives is not.
Having a father figure is beneficial on so many levels, including the fact that children with fathers have a better chance of expressing emotions properly. Dads offer a different perspective and give children another person to go to and rely on, which results in more confidence when tackling new things. When a father is absent, it can have devastating consequences. The statistics speak for themselves:
- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
- 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
- 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
Perhaps this is why the strangers in this story really wanted to draw attention to what they saw. If we just stop to look around, we will notice that there is good to be found in nearly every situation — it’s just so often overlooked. In an increasingly fatherless society, we can still find dads who show their daughters and sons the love they deserve. We need to give the good as much attention as the bad usually gets, to more accurately reflect the world we live in.
Good parents, whether fathers or mothers, single or married, should be complimented and applauded. Parenting is a hard job, but so many of us step up to give it our all every day. Although it’s our responsibility and something we should do, it’s still nice to have it recognized. So, just as single dad said on Imgur, “Thank you, random strangers. Thank you.”