One day, Michael Lorenzo,a waiter at Laurenzo’s Prime Rib, heard one customer insult a kid with Down syndrome. He didn’t like what he heard, so he refused to serve them.
Michael simply said that his “personal feelings just took over,” so he decided to do the right thing to a group of regulars who were insulting a person with special needs. Instead of handing them over the restaurant’s menu, he served them with a dose of bravery.
Kim Castillo and her 5-year-old son with Down syndrome, Milo, were among the customers of Laurenzo’s that day. Milo is quite popular with the staff of the restaurant as he has been eating there for a long time now. Because he hadn’t visited the restaurant for a few weeks, he chatted with the staff about his recent birthday.
“We adults were encouraging Milo to say hi and show off some of his new vocabulary. Was he loud? Maybe a little in the moment, but honestly, the adults at our table were three times louder than he was,” Kim explained.
Kim and Milo were sitting at their table for 10 minutes, telling stories and sharing what they’ve been up to, when a group across them got up and decided to move to the back of the restaurant.
Michael, who was the attending waiter of the group, didn’t really give meaning to the move, until he overheard a bit of their conversation. According to him, a man in the group said, “Special needs children need to be special somewhere else.”
He was disappointed about what he heard. He couldn’t believe that a man could say something like that in front of his own kids. “It upset me because he’s a 5-year-old little boy. He’s an angel. He’s precious,” he said. “It was very disturbing.”
Realizing that he could possibly lose his job, Michael still did what he thought was right. He refused to serve the man and his family. After a few minutes, they walked out and glanced back at the table of the Castillo’s.
He recalled, “And I told this man, I’m sorry, I can’t serve you.” Although the restaurant has lost a few customers that day, Michael has earned the respect of people.
When Kim knew about the incident, she thought it was a case of discrimination. But when she was told about what Michael did, she was really impressed. In fact, she was grateful. She said, “It felt so good that somebody would stand up for another human being.”
As a 5-year-old, it wouldn’t be such a big deal if Milo was being too loud because its what kids do… Kim shared a heartwarming message for those who insulted her son, “He is just a kid and shouldn’t be discriminated against. He certainly didn’t ask to be born with Down syndrome.”