My Little Kingdom

A day in the life of me and my kingdom. Thoughts of a mother of four amazing little boys, a wife of an incredible husband and a woman trying not to forget about herself.

September 05, 2007

Where Have all the Stands Gone?

Blue skies, bare feet, bike rides, fishing poles, sprinklers well they all go hand in hand when it comes to summer fun. But, where have all the lemonade stands gone? Apparently to little boys every one.

I don’t remember really having a lemonade stand, it’s sort of foggy. I think I did, I must have attempted it, isn’t it a requirement for childhood? It seems familiar, but so long ago. None the less, it seems the sweet tart, cool refreshing zing of a cold glass of lemonade on a sweltering hot summer day is still very much a part of human nature. And they haven’t gone out of style nor have they been retired to scrapbooks and memoirs of generations past.

In fact it’s been brought to my attention that lemonade stands aren’t so uncommon in the realm of childhood these days and such was the case with my young children. I’m not sure where or who they got the idea from but the dream of standing behind a lemonade stand handing out ice cold drinks and raking in the dough emerged from within them and it wasn’t going to go until they had tasted of the experience first hand. I was envisioning building a little stand and having it all set up picture perfect. But, there was money to be made, no time for such trivial things. But my boys had other ideas and are so very persistent. Especially Edison, He had been wanting to set up a lemonade stand for a while now. One morning he couldn’t think about anything else. He and Isaac kept concocting all kinds of concoctions of water/soda/popcicles/juice/ketchup and whatever else they could get their hands on. And then asked, begged and pleaded if they could sell their home invented mixtures as they offered me a glass of the greenish bubbling swill. Politely declining I kept saying it wasn’t a good time, everyone is at work or school, we don’t have lemonade….. It didn’t deter him and suddenly I caught myself and said, what am I teaching him by telling him he can’t and stopping him from trying! So I said sure, go for it. His face lit up and he shot of like a rocket taking his younger brothers with him. He took out some laundry buckets and flipped them upside down, drug out an assortment of chairs and made a sign out of computer paper and markers. Lemonade 98 cents , cookies 19 cents. He carefully drew out a picture of lemonade next to the etched numbers and then thoughtfully drew some cookies next to their price. There on top of the upside down laundry baskets was a plate of my m&m cookies and a variety of drinks canned and bottled that they had rummaged out of the pantry. There behind the laundry baskets, sign and refreshments were three boys beaming with excitement and confidence, so proud, pleased as punch(or lemonade).

Edison was disappointed that droves of people were not lined up at his stand. I was beginning to feel that pain mothers feel when they see their children experience heart break. Just then he ran in “we made 2 dollars!” and ran back out. I peeked out the front door to witness their excitement when I heard Edison say to his brother ’go to their house and ask them’ and off ran Isaac up the neighbors drive way and onto their front porch. They had determined that if the people weren’t coming to them they’d go to the people. That afternoon when the kids started coming home from school they were running in and grabbing stuff off our pantry shelves. Everest was so excited when he came home from school and saw the money they were making. That he rolled up his sleeves and jumped right in. Things were flying off the shelves, anything and everything from boxes of raisins to popcicles. They cleaned out our cupboards but they made well over $20 at the end of the day. I went out to check on them and there they were the proud owners of their long awaited lemonade stand. Surrounded by kids, neighbors and friends all sitting in the shade enjoying an afternoon treat and each others’ company.

Edison’s sales pitch: if you don’t have 98cents you can just give us $1. What little entrepreneurs they are. I am always so impressed with their ingenuity, enthusiasm and their drive. Next time I won’t be so hesitant to let them ‘go for it’, after all now’s the time to empower and encourage them. There is nothing sweeter than a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day than the sweet taste of success.


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