She never expecting those words from anyone, especially not from another mother.
Her hands curled up into tight fists and for a second she considered punching the woman in the face, but before she could the manager made their way over. She had something epic to say.
It wasn’t hard for Gina Henry to go through with her teen pregnancy and birth.
She always knew that she wanted to be a mother, and even though it was happening sooner than expected , she still wanted it. She was blessed with the miracle of online schooling as it meant that she could raise her baby and complete her high school degree from the comfort of her own home. But that didn’t mean that her life was peaches and cream.
Her family members were supportive and understanding. They never judged her for the choices she had made. However, the rest of the world was less supportive and understanding of Gina’s situation.
There were two things that prevented her from knocking come sense into the judgmental public. One was that she had her little boy in her arms.
And two was he best friend, Emily.
Emily and Gina had been friends for as long as they could remember. Emily was there when Gina was in labor. Their classes were now in full swing and Gina knew how lucky she was that Emily was around and willing to help. It was Emily’s help that stopped a screaming fest at a public restaurant.
“How about Chinese?” Gina suggested to Emily when they decided to grab something to eat.
The Chinese restaurant was their favorite. They were there so often that the owner knew both their names. Not only was the food great, but the restaurant also had a sticker on the door that read, “we happily accept breastfeeding mothers”. Emily gladly agreed to Chinese food and soon enough, the girls were scanning through the menu. That’s when the manager appeared.
Mrs. L, the old, Chinese grandma, smiled brightly at the girls and immediately stuck her arms out to reach for Gina’s little boy. She smiled lovingly as she ran her fingers through his golden curls.
Shortly after that, two things would happen that Gina and Emily would remember forever. First, a woman came into the restaurant with her 10-years-old son, and second, Gina’s little boy got fussy.
Gina’s baby was hungry and Gina knew she had to feed him. She quickly grabbed her nursing blanket and used it to cover her chest and her baby as she fed him.
The woman that had just walked in with her 10-year-old boy quickly looked up at Gina as her expression turned sour. That’s when her son asked, “What’s she doing?” and the woman’s answer was mind-boggling.
“She’s doing something disgusting,” The woman answered her child, pushing her boy aware from Gina in disgust. “Don’t you know better than to do that in public? And why are you even doing that if you’re only a kid.” She now said to Gina.
Gina immediately got angry. She wanted to punch the woman straight in the face, but Emily thankfully intervened. The manager did too.
Emily quickly tried to defend Gina as she stated, “It’s not illegal. And Mrs. L is fine with it. She has a sticker on the door.”
The woman wouldn’t back down. “I’m not ok with a baby breastfeeding another baby. You need to stop. Have some self respect!”. Mrs. L heard what the lady had said and quickly placed her notepad down before approaching the women.
Mrs. L got close to the disrespectful woman and stuck her face right in the woman’s face. And in broken English, she defended Gina and her baby.
“My restaurant. I’d say is okay. A nursing baby is a beautiful thing. You have a problem, you leave.” As she spoke, Mrs. L even leaned in towards the 10-year-old boy’s face. She was making her message clear.
“Your mother, she dummy right?”
The 10-year-old burst into laughter. It was clear he agreed. The woman, on the other hand, turned as red as a beet. Her anger might have been at volcano-levels, but she shut her mouth and ushered her son to the opposite side of the dining room; shooting dirty looks at Gina and Emily. But that wasn’t the end of the event.
After Gina was packed full of orange chicken, and Emily looked like she was about to pass out from a food coma, Mrs. L strolled up and plonked down a to-go bag.
“Extra egg rolls. Free for mum,” she said, cooing at the baby once more. Gina and her friend sauntered out of the restaurant with only one thing on their mind.
She had to post what had just happened – not just for entertainment purposes, but as a cautionary tale for anyone stupid enough to poke their noses in a mom’s business.
While she braced for the inevitable naysayers and trolls, readers from all over the world ended up sending hundreds of messages of support. Mrs. L also got some digital appreciation…
“It cracks me up when someone who speaks English as a second language, particularly older Asian ladies, throw shade like this.”
“I guess one has to be a little old Asian lady speaking broken English to be able to pull that off without Karen going ballistic and needing to be tased (which is really how I wish many of the scenarios I read on this sub would play out).”
All in all, what could have been a disastrous lunch ended up being a multigenerational show of solidarity.
Besides, Gina’s family and her best friend, she now had another person she was grateful to have in her life – and not just for the free egg rolls!