Nine-year-old Noah was at a restaurant one morning when he saw a police officer eating breakfast alone a few tables from where he was seated. The Lakeland, Florida, police officer was clearly armed and ready to tackle any emergency situation. Noah was instantly nervous. His heart began to beat wildly as he stared at the policeman. He became anxious and he wondered what action he ought to take.
It wasn’t that he was afraid of the police officer. He had definitely done nothing wrong or criminal. But what he did next made the Police officer jump out of his chair in shock. He was quite alarmed at what Noah had just done. Now, Noah had always wanted to become a police officer when he grew up. He had asked his mom, Amanda Cantin, if he could go and greet Officer Eddie Benitez. He and his Mom were having breakfast at a local Denny’s because it was “Bring Your Child To Work Day.”
They were enjoying their delicious breakfast when Noah spotted the police officer. Amanda had given him her permission, and Noah prepared to go say hi to the policeman.
Noah got up eagerly and headed to the Police officer. However, the moment he was near the policeman, he was overcome with fear. He was so scared that he was momentarily transfixed at his spot and he lost his words. So he came up with a different plan that floored the police officer. He had been saving his birthday money and he made up his mind to pay for the Officer’s breakfast.
Amanda called a waitress and they let her in on Noah’s plan. The waitress was touched and was eager to help. She was astounded at what the little boy was planning to do. Noah wanted to pen a special note to Officer Benitez. With his mother’s help, he wrote down a beautiful and heartfelt message:
“I want to be you when I grow up. Thank you for your service.” The note was ready when they received the receipt. Noah was ready to meet the Officer.
He gathered his courage and walked towards the officer and gave him the note. To say the officer was stunned would be an understatement. He literally jumped up from his seat. He took the boy’s hand and insisted on taking a photo with his biggest little fan. Amanda says that the police officer didn’t understand why this little boy was walking down there with his tab and his face revealed his shock.
A photo was taken and Noah was so proud to be photographed with a real police officer. His mother would keep a copy of the photo.
The rest of the customers in the restaurant were also amazed at what had just transpired. It is not every day that a young boy approaches a police officer and it is not every day that a nine-year-old gives up their birthday money. Everyone was impressed and inspired.
Officer Benitez is still in wonderment of what he read on that note. He was moved by the message and astonished at the kindness and generosity that Noah showed him that day. He carries the note around with him every day.
The note meant everything to him. It meant that he was supposed to wake up every morning and put on his uniform and go out there and do what he does. He says that it means that he needs to keep trying to be a good police officer and serve his community well. That note inspires him daily.
It is a reminder that what he does matters and there are people who notice including little children.
The Lakeland Police Department was also amazed by Noah’s kind act. They shared the photo Officer Benitez and Noah had taken on their Facebook page. They have also thanked Noah for his warm generosity and the message he wrote to one of their own. That message encouraged all of them.
The message on the Facebook post from the police department conveyed that they were all touched by Noah’s act of kindness and that his support meant so much to all of the men and women who put on the uniform every day. They were always dedicated and ready to serve and were glad to part of the aspirations of the young boy. Noah was beside himself with glee at the attention from the police department. His dream of becoming a police officer was reinforced that day. It has been four years now and he is still focused on making it come true. He admires the police officers in his area and he has a deep respect for the work that they do.
He believes that he will make the world a better place and catch all the bad guys.
Amanda who is already so proud of her son said that she would be prouder still if in 10 years Noah will choose to put on a police uniform and badge. Like all mothers, she encourages him to pursue his dream.
We also believe Officer Benitez and the Lakeland, Florida police department would be pretty glad and proud of Noah, as well. And we bet they would be thrilled if he gets to be part of their department.
All the best Noah, you have inspired us and may your dream come true!