Next week all of the kids will have soccer camp and I'm a little nervous for Emma. I've said it a few times on here before, but Emma really had a difficult time with her first year of soccer. She is so shy that she either would not go out on to the field during a game, or she’d stand in one spot on the field – frozen like a statue. I've debated back and forth with what to do – to continue to gently encourage her, or to just give in and not push it. I finally decided that she needed to give it a go through the spring season because I don’t want my children to just give up the first time something feels difficult or scary.
I was becoming so desperate to help her overcome her insecurities that I had tried all sorts of things… yet nothing seemed to be working. On our way to one of her last games I gave it one more shot. I was tired - it had been an exhausting day and I did’t have dinner planned, so I told Emma if she could be a brave girl and run out on that field with her teammates we could go out to dinner for Happy Meals at McDonald’s, where I knew I had the option of getting myself a McCafe Smoothie and a freshly made salad as well.
She thought and thought about it, and then surprised me out on the field. She not only ran – she got into the game and actually kicked the ball once! It was the first time she had ever kicked the soccer ball during a game.
I breathed a huge sigh of relief when she told me after the game that she had so much she had forgot that we were going to go to McDonald’s!
We pulled up and went inside to sit down and eat – something we rarely do anymore due to our busy schedule. As Emma opened up her apple slices and chicken nuggets she appeared sad then looked down and said softly,
“Mom, I kicked the ball the wrong way.”
I knew she had, but I wasn't going to bring the subject up. I paused, and thought for a moment.
“Emma, do you remember that one time when we went through the drive thru here and we drove all the way home before realizing that they had forgotten to put apple slices in your Happy Meals?”
“Ya, and you called them back and the guy hung up on you!” Anika chimed in.
“Yes he did. But then I called the corporate office to let them know and they were so apologetic, sincerely sorry and wanted to fix the situation. They not only sent us a gift card, but coupons for free desserts and then called me back not once but two times making sure that the next experience went well.”
“What exactly is your point Mom?” Anika said.
“My point is that everyone messes up sometimes. We all make mistakes – but that doesn't matter. No one is perfect. What does matter is what you do afterwards. When McDonald’s found out about what had happened, they wanted to make things right to keep a customer happy. They didn't just give up and say, ‘oh well, we screwed up’ and let us down.“
I told Emma that just because she accidentally kicked the ball the wrong way didn't mean she couldn't do a good job at soccer. I told her to just keep trying to help her team and prove to herself that she can be brave and do it.
She just had one more thing to say after our little chat.
“Mommy, if I kick the soccer ball the right way next time, can we go to get Happy Meals again?”
How can I say no to that? J
I wonder if she'll remember this little moment we had a from a couple of months ago at soccer camp.
“Disclosure: Compensation was provided by McDonald’s via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of McDonald’s.”