lemonade stands

Some things about summer are timeless – like lemonade stands.  Ask your parents and even your grandparents if they ever had a lemonade stand and they’ll probably have a story to tell.

My husband and I are push-overs for any children sitting at a lemonade stand, a homemade sign hanging crookedly, expectant faces ever hopeful.  We’ve even gone several blocks out of our way to return to purchase two cups after already passing by and feeling guilty as their disappointed expressions followed us.

A hot summer like this one is excellent for the lemonade business. 

 This afternoon, we stopped at a stand with a little girl selling lemonade.  I asked her how business was doing.  She had her stand neatly decorated with a vase of sparkly flowers and “taste of Madison” cups.  She reported that “actually, you’re my first customers”.

At the end of the block, we saw her competition – a group of boys huddled around their stand, some with signs on their bikes advertising their sale.

A few nights ago as I walked our puppy, Tootsie, in the neighborhood, I came across some other children selling lemonade.  Their slogan was, “Buy one, get one free”.

True appreciation – that’s what I have for these young, industrious children that come up with this idea, brand new to them, who feel the excitement and the satisfaction of  planning, preparing, organizing and working together.

Often, however, when the carefree days of summer are winding down and school opens soon,we start to panic a bit about whether our children are up to the task of applying themselves.  The urge to worry, remind, nag and hover over our children is strong.  We want them to succeed, to do their best, to follow through, to be engaged and excited by school.

So we can learn from the lemonade stands of summer. 

 Our children already have the initiative, the motivation and the desire to create, invent, cooperate, plan and learn.  Give them the time. Appreciate their efforts.

Trust them.

Here’s to a great school year ahead.

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