“Can I go with you to the grocery store? I have a list.”
“Uhhh, okay,” I responded from the shower. “What did you need to buy?” I asked.
“Lemons, sugar, a pitcher, cups, and straws. PLEASE Mom! Please! I have always wanted to do this. It’s summer….”
She’d been asking to do a lemonade stand for quite a while. Like 5 years awhile. Maybe longer. I’ve put her off for various reasons. She was too young (read: I’d have to do all the work), we were busy or had other plans that weekend, whatever. The timing just never seemed right.
Me, thinking, “Well, I don’t see why not. We aren’t camping this weekend and there isn’t much going on. I think we can make that work.”
(Insert squeals of delight and frantic planning mode turned way up).
After getting items from her list, and 10 lemons (surely that should be plenty) we set up shop in the front yard, complete with canopy and “decor lemons” and her eye-catching poster:
She could barely sit still. Her excitement was met with a very supportive military community. Lots of friends and neighbors came by to grab a glass of Lil’ Miss’ yummy recipe. Great teachable moments sprinkled throughout the afternoon and evening, including the difference between sales and profit, costs of doing business, supplies, and record keeping. Live, hands on examples that will likely stick with her longer than just talking about abstract concepts.
Running out of lemons, I zipped to the store to grab 10 more! She went through pitcher after pitcher! (And multiple batches of simple syrup.) She decided to set up for Saturday as well. Lucky for her, Dad did a bit of shopping!
“Thank you thank you thank you! This is amazing!” she hollered, dancing around the kitchen. “We are going to have lemonade for dayyyyyys!” Turning serious for a moment, she said, “Seriously though, Mom, I want you to know I am super grateful. This is going to be sooooo FUN!”
I stopped in my tracks. “Who is this kid?” I thought. I remember playing and eating candy at 10 years old, not being grateful! Ha!
Saturday morning, she walked out saying she had “THE PERFECT SHIRT”! I turned around to see her in what is actually the perfect shirt for a lemonade stand.
She sold lemonade all day Saturday and went through 52 lemons! 🤯 We have a pitcher leftover, but we aren’t mad about that! It’s quite tasty. My kitchen looks like a yellow bomb went off, but it smells delightfully fresh! Luckily the mosquitoes that are notoriously awful in our area weren’t too bad. To be sure, Eric sprayed the front yard with yard spray hours before her set up to allow for enough time for it to dry. We battled wasps and hornets (not to mention fears) and ended up moving her stand to the other side of the driveway to get away from what we think may be a nest in a tree.
Surviving the insects, we talked about all kinds of things, idle moments that generated top of mind musings as well as deeper conversations. The lemonade stand served as a vehicle to just be together with minimal distractions. There was a time when I never would have had the energy, or honestly the desire, to do anything like this. While I was drinking this would have been a no-go. I am so thankful for these reminders of my why. I love being present with them just to chat – about the mundane, what they are thinking about, their thoughts about different situations – all of it.
Who knew a little lemonade stand could be more than just some tasty beverages?!