We took the whole family to the ASU game last weekend. We typically leave the younger two at home, but our friends had given us some extra tickets so we figured we’d take the whole crew. Steve convinced me it would be a quick game – and we could leave at half-time. ASU has been playing poorly and we were playing the #5 ranked team, it was bound to be a blow out.
But it wasn’t. In fact, it was an amazing game. We were ahead the entire game and we kept looking at each other wondering what team had shown up to play because they looked far better than the team we were used to seeing on the field! We were all out past our bedtime.
Funny story from the night. Hallie and Hunter both brought friends with them and I had given them all candy before we left the house so they’d have a treat to munch on throughout the game. During the first quarter, Hallie emptied her pocket and put her candy on the bench between her and her friend.
Shortly after – she came to me and told me the boy behind her had stolen her candy. I questioned the legitimacy of her story. But she was convinced and as further evidence she could see her candy wrapper was under his seat with a few candies spilled out. (I was having flashbacks to the Cookie Thief poem! If you haven’t read this, take a look!)
She was bummed and I was shocked. Who does that?? She was right there – just looking the other way when it happened. She asked if I would say something. I hesitated bringing it up because in all reality – the candy was gone and he would ultimately deny doing it. But as I sat there the thought stirred within me and I realized I wanted Hallie to know it was okay to stand up for herself and confront him and I wanted to show her how to do it in a kind way. Not only that – as a parent, if someone saw my kid steal something, I would hope they would kindly inform me of the incident. So with Hallie by my side I approached the kid with his dad by his side.
“Hey, is there any chance you took candy from the bench in front of you?”
Immediately the dad leans forward, “What are you accusing my son of?”
“I’m sorry – My daughter just said she saw him take her candy, I’m just trying to figure out what happened.”
“He wouldn’t do that – these are stellar boys (there was several boys there with the dad), I’m sorry you thought he took the candy.”
(Hesitantly) “I know it sounds bad, but I can actually see the wrapper under the seat still.”
The dad starts to become less defensive and starts asking the row of boys if anyone took the candy. The one son points out that they had switched seats after the first quarter and his youngest son had been sitting in the seat of question. He calls his youngest son down (just a year younger than Hallie) and asks if he took the candy and guilt washed over his face as he quickly denied the allegations. He then claimed he found candy on another bench that he took. His dad continued the interrogation until it came out that he indeed took the candy. Immediately, apologies started flooding from his mouth. He was determined to replace the candy. (which was not necessary at all – but Hallie did appreciate it!)
He then states that he recognizes us and come to realize he did know of us – he actually knows Steve’s sister really well and lives in their neighborhood. And we found several more connections which led to a fun 15 minute conversation of connections we had. The world is pretty small. I made it back to my seat at the end of halftime and find Steve laughing with our friends. He said he knows few people who can call out a candy stealer and make a new friend all in the same conversation!