A heartwarming video has emerged showing the moment two waitresses learned how to sing ‘happy birthday’ in sign language so they could surprise a deaf boy at their restaurant.
Octavius Mitchell Jr. went to Texas Roadhouse in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, with his mom to celebrate his fourth birthday.
One of the waitresses, Kathryn Marasco, who was working at the restaurant that night, realized that it was Octavius’ birthday and also noticed the mother, Shatika Dixon, signing to her young son , so wanted to do something special for the birthday boy.
As a tradition, the waiters usually sing happy birthday to people celebrating their birthdays but this was a different situation. “I’m sitting there and I’m watching from a distance and the mom is signing to the little boy, which is when I noticed he had his hearing aids,” Marasco said.
Marasco then approached her colleague Brandie White, who was studying speech-language pathology and audiology at Middle Tennessee State University, and asked if she knew how to say ‘happy birthday’ in sign language but she did not.
White pulled out her phone and together they looked up how to say “happy birthday” in American Sign Language on YouTube and quickly got all the steps down.
The pair then went up to Octavius’ table and signed “Happy birthday to you.” Octavius and his mom were very pleasantly surprised. The kind waitresses found just the sweetest gesture to celebrate his birthday in a way that was special to him.
Octavius’ mom said she was very thankful for the kind gesture. “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.”
She further said that that was the first time her son had communicated in sign language with anyone other than herself and his teacher.
Such a beautiful gesture, we are sure Octavius and his mom will remember his fourth birthday for a long time to come!