Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Lemonade Stand

I had run out of excuses not to do it.

For 2 months, my son had been begging to set up a lemonade stand in our driveway, and I was less than enthusiastic about the idea.

I am not a sales person at heart. I don't like asking for money (even a quarter toward a glass of that sweet summertime staple).

So, when Drew said he wanted the lemonade to be "FREE!", I finally gave in.

He made the sign.

I made the beverages.

We lugged a table and chair outside, along with a cooler for ice. We set up the pitcher, cups, and an umbrella for shade.

Then we waited for our first customer.

A big shiny silver Mercedes drove past our house first. I could tell the driver was slowing down to read our sign. A few moments later (he'd apparently circled the block), he pulled up again and rolled down his window.

The shy smile on my son's face was priceless, and I wondered for a moment if he was about to chicken out on the whole deal.

"How much, son?" the man asked.
"It's FREE!" Andrew replied.

"You can't give away lemonade! I'll take 2 glasses. And this is just a donation. One for you and one for your little sister."

Drew poured a couple of sloppy cups and handed them through the car window to the man and his passenger. He took the two dollars and (with urgent prompting from his momma) thanked his first customers profusely.

We sat back down in the shade of our umbrella and discussed his first "sale" of the day. We practiced two new words: "Customers" and "generous" - because he'd certainly just experienced both.

For the next hour and a half, we sat on the driveway and talked, poured lemonade, took a couple more donations here and there from some "generous customers", but mostly just gave away our drinks for "FREE!". We met new neighbors and reconnected with some we hadn't seen in months. We watched the chocolate Drew brought outside melt in the hot sun.

And after 13 customers were served, we packed up our lemonade stand and called it a day.

I don't know what my beef used to be about Lemonade Stands.
After our experience this past weekend, I have a new outlook:

"If Life Hands You a Sam's Club-sized Canister of Countrytime mix... Make Lemonade!"

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