A few weeks ago, I shared with you the tale of Ryder’s jaunt down to Mini Oakville, his personal happy place. Who knew hanging around a closed car dealership on a Sunday afternoon could bring about such joy?
(Well, I kind of suspected he would be mildly interested. To put it mildly, of course.)
Three takeaways from my post:
1. Ryder is obsessed with cars – Mini Coopers in particular.
2. Mini Oakville is a local dealership which just happens to have Mini Coopers in its parking lot.
3. Ryder treats cars like people; he likes to talk to them, hug them, etc.
In fact, if you haven’t read the original post, I’ll just wait – you’re really missing out on a cute story.
Now the spirit in which I originally wrote the post was simply to point out that sometimes, the best things in life are free. (Disclaimer: the best things in life cost a lot of money.) And to a four-year-old boy who really doesn’t know the difference between a lavish vacation or trip to a local car dealership, it was heartwarming to see his enthusiasm, inquisitiveness and unbridled joy.
I thought the tale ended there; a simple account of a young boy and cars. However, through the magic of social sharing, Mini Oakville was directed to my post and asked one of their sales professionals to reach out to me. Within hours of publishing the story, I received an e-mail from (the very sweet and lovely) Valerie Harden, who wrote:
“We just had your blog brought to our attention by our marketing coordinator. What a special boy!! We would like to do something special for him. Let us know when you can come in.”
I was stunned. And blown away.
First, by the kindness and generosity from Mini Oakville; who recognized that a love of cars is often a life-long addiction, stemming from the innocence and enthusiasm of a young child. Second, by the realization of just how social our world really is; that a simple blog post with pictures could inspire a company to reach out to a young fan. And third – it was incredibly heartwarming to know that in the midst of our very busy lives, there were strangers who were not only willing to set time aside to entertain a little boy, but actually shared his excitement too.
And so, we revisited The Happiest Place on Earth.
Now I didn’t actually tell Ryder about my conversation with Valerie; he was simply over the moon to go and spend time with the Mini Coopers once again. Plus, I’ve learned that alluding to any sort of toy or special treatment can often backfire with pre-schoolers; hence, we drove to the dealership without any preamble whatsoever.
And that’s where the magic began…
I’d like to once again thank Valerie, David Chisholm (Mini Oakville’s Marketing Coordinator who originally spotted the post and passed it on – he also took time to hang out with us during our visit!), and the entire team at Mini Oakville for their warm hospitality. But mostly, for taking time out of their busy day to show a four-year-old the time of his life.