Becoming a mom brings a lot of challenges, not the least of which is the ability to eat a hot meal while it’s still warm. One waitress helped a single mom do just this, and we think she totally deserves a bonus.

Nianni Rudder, a server at an Olive Garden restaurant in Greensboro, North Carolina, went above and beyond when she witnessed a mom in desperate need of a helping hand. Dining with her family and one-year-old, single mom Courtney Pedigo was ready to give up on the idea of eating dinner when her daughter refused to sit still. She asked Rudder to bring her a to-go box for her untouched meal so she could make a quick getaway—but Rudder refused. Instead, Rudder took a seat at the table with the mom and baby.

Photo: LuckyLife11 via Unsplash

Rudder wanted to give Pedigo the chance to eat her dinner while it was still hot. Harlynn, Pedigo’s 18-month-old daughter didn’t want to stay in the high chair and refused to sit with her other family members. So instead Rudder sat with them, feeding Harlynn so that Pedigo had her hands free to eat her own meal. Pedigo was so touched by the act of kindness, she took to Facebook to share the experience. “Girl, you will you will never truly know how appreciative I am for tonight,” she wrote. “I seriously admire you.”

In an interview with TODAY Food, Pedigo reiterated just how meaningful it was to have Rudder’s help, “I was just in complete shock because nothing has ever happened to me like that. I just wanted to shine some light on the person she is.”

Rudder has a three-year-old niece and totally understands how fussy toddlers can be—and wanted to help. “I just didn’t want her to leave,” Rudder told TODAY. “She came out to enjoy a meal with her family, and she should be able to do that. I didn’t think she had to leave or go sit in the car to eat the food because her baby was fussy.”

The two ladies, who never met before, bonded over their similarities. Pedigo worked as a server herself and understood what it meant for Rudder to take the time to help. “Not only do I appreciate her [Rudder] feeding my daughter ice cream, she’s a real go-getter,” Pedigo said. “In today’s world and how it is, I just wanted to put it out there that there’s still people like her.”

—Shahrzad Warkentin



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