Last week in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Octavius Mitchell Jr. decided on Texas Roadhouse as his celebration spot for his fourth birthday.
His mom, Shatika Dixon, says that Octavius was born hearing impaired.
And one waitress at Texas Roadhouse noticed how Octavious signed with his mom and wanted to make him feel special for his birthday, according to CBS affiliate WTVF.
As most know, at Texas Roadhouse – it is a tradition that the servers sing to those celebrating their birthdays, while the guests of honor sit in a saddle.
“He loves animals so he was so excited about getting to sit on this and [have] all the attention on him,” Dixon said about Octavius.
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Kathryn Marasco, a Texas Roadhouse waitress soon realized it was Octavius’ birthday, and that he was hearing impaired.
“I’m sitting there and I’m watching from a distance and the mom is signing to the little boy, which I noticed he had his hearing aids,” Marasco said.
Marasco said she then asked her fellow server, Brandie White, if she knew how to say “happy birthday,” in sign language. White did not but she did want to help Octavius as well. White studies Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at Middle Tennessee State University.
White pulled up YouTube on her phone to learn how to wish Octavius a happy birthday.
After referring to how the pair could say “happy birthday” in American Sign Language, they quickly went through each step and then — they headed to Octavius’ table to show him what they had learned.
“Happy birthday to you,” the waitresses signed.
Both Octavius and his mother were very impressed, to say the least as the waitresses not only acknowledged the 4-year-old’s birthday, they additionally took the time to celebrate it in a way that was even more special to Octavius.
Dixon said she was very emotional after the touching surprise from Marasco and White.
“Everybody thinks we’re crazy when we’re out talking and we’re signing. So it’s really important to me that someone noticed that and picked up on that and made that special just for him, my baby,” Dixon said.
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White said making restaurant patron’s feel welcome is very important to her.
“As a server, I want you to be able to come in, I want [you] to be like, ‘Oh this is my home, I belong here,'” she told WTVF.
Dixon said that this was Octavius’ very first time signing with people that were not herself or his teacher. It was not a huge phrase but it was a powerful one. Octavius was overjoyed with the gesture, along with his mother by the kindness the two servers shared.
Needless to say, Octavius will remember his fourth birthday for a long time thanks to White, Marasco and a little bit of sweetness.
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