Danny decided to kick the ball his hardest to impress Mr. Sam. When he did, something silly happened.
"Look Mr. Sam, my shoe went further than the ball!" Danny said. The two laughed and tried a few more kicks. Same result every time.
"That's why I don't play soccer at recess," Danny admitted.
"It wouldn't happen if you tied your shoes," said Sam. "Make them tighter before we try again."
"I don't know how," Danny said, his voice trailing off with embarrassment.
With a big smile Sam said, "That's okay, let's figure it out together."
Tie a boy's shoes and he'll kick a ball with you. Teach a boy to tie his own shoes and he'll play soccer every day.
But that's not the important point. To see what's at stake, focus on what will happen in the moments to follow between young Danny and Sam: two hearts will knit together. Over shoe laces? Yes.
Sam volunteers as a mentor through his local church and shows up at school to meet with Danny for an hour every Monday afternoon. Danny lives with his grandmother, ...1