McDonald’s has always there for me. As a young mom, McDonald’s helped me get my act together, added a layer of fun to everyday tasks, and became common ground when navigating those tricky teen years.
When I became a mom, I struggled to be on time for work. I was having a hard time adjusting to getting two of us ready in the morning. It was so bad that I would run late the day after my manager “encouraged” me to be on time the next day. The day that actually happened, my daughter and I still needed to have breakfast. McDonald’s helped me get my act together. I learned with a pocket full of change and a trip to the drive-through, I could feed us and save myself about 15 minutes. Those extra 15 minutes made all the difference.
It was not too much later that I disocerd toddlers find running errands boring! If you add a Happy Meal, it becomes like a trip to Disney. Sometimes we would go to one with a playground and those errands became an adventure. One time, I wanted to take my children out to lunch, but I did not have a car. We lived next to the Erie Canal footpath and I knew the path would lead us to those Golden Arches. I decided the kids would ride their bikes but I would walk. Our usual quick car ride turned into a three-hour undertaking. Once I discovered my mistake, it was too late. Those french fries never tasted so good. Thankfully we made it back to the house.
When the kids were teenagers, I needed to find some ways to spend the extra time with them without spending too much money. Mcdonald’s fit that bill. I decided to pair their orthodontic appointments with a trip to McDonald’s for lunch. Not only would they have something easy to eat after an adjustment, but we would also have some one-on-one time. It amazed me how my silent and sullen teenage son would open up once chicken nuggets were in front of him. I witnessed the smile on my daughter’s face when she first tried a Mcdonald’s frappe.
I will confess some of these Mcdonald’s moments were used to my advantage. We had some serious conversations over cheeseburgers: how to improve grades, tips on keeping the bedroom cleaner, choices of friends. I am just glad nobody spit soda through their noses when I brought up the birds and the bees.