Table for two: Photo of shared meal in Mississippi warms hearts nationwide

MAGEE, Miss. — A Mississippi family’s recent dinner out resulted in a viral social media moment and a new friend.

Amy Wadford took six children to dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Magee on Friday, but 2-year-old Brekken “had other plans,” she wrote in a Facebook post sharing a photo that has now amassed nearly 100,000 likes and been shared more than 87,000 times.

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Turns out, Brekken spotted a man sitting alone by a window at Fernando’s and not so subtly let his mother know – repeatedly – that he would prefer to join the gentleman, a perfect stranger, WLBT reported.

“[Brekken] was continuously crying, and as I got up to take him to the car this man asked to get him. Brekken instantly stopped crying and sat and ate chips and salsa and had [a] conversation with him until he was ready to go,” Wadford wrote.

I’m not sure who this man is and I’m sure he just wanted to eat his meal in peace but Brekken had other plans. We took...

Posted by Amy Wadford on Friday, April 23, 2021

And when it was time to go, Wadford said that the 2-year-old bid his new friend goodbye “like he had known him his whole life.”

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The man has since been identified as Darius West, and Wadford told WLBT that Brekken and West now speak regularly.

“We definitely could have said, ‘No, you can’t sit with him. Absolutely not,’ but it was hurting nothing. We were all there. Sometimes people need that to brighten their day,” Wadford told WJTV.