Today dawned like many others do in Albury during winter, overcast, foggy and cold, which naturally meant that the kids decided that they needed to play outside wearing as little warm clothing as possible. Around lunchtime Buster Boy announced that he and the Troll Princess had decided that they’d like to make some lemonade and took a shopping bag out with them to begin collecting lemons from the tree in the back yard. Eventually they returned, hauling a very full bag stuffed with lemons that they’d been able to reach, and declared that they were going to open a lemonade stand.
While the idea of the kids having a lemonade stand on the nature strip seemed incredibly cute, the pessimist in me thought that we would spend the afternoon placating disappointed children. Nevertheless we set about finding a recipe for fresh lemonade and getting to work in the kitchen. The lemons from our tree were amazing, the juice almost exploded from them as I cut them in halves and it took no time to get enough to make our lemonade.
While the lemonade cooled Buster Boy set about preparing his lemonade stand. With the help of the Troll Princess he made a sign, found some disposable cups and a tin for the money he hoped to make, and brought a table and chairs from the Troll Princess’ room to the front yard. By this time the fog had lifted, the clouds had parted and the sun began to illuminate our street.
Still feeling pessimistic I went inside to phone our next door neighbour and another friend who I hoped could come over and provide some custom for the lemonade stand. Both phones rang out. I managed to reach our friend’s wife who told us that he was still at sport with the kids for another half an hour or so, and while on the phone I heard the front door slam open and the Troll Princess holler “We’ve got a customer!”.
Sure enough, a passing car had seen the kids out the front, pulled over, and bought a cup of lemonade. The kids were ecstatic, Rach and I were a little dumbstruck. Then it happened again, and again, and again. Complete strangers pulled up to buy cups of lemonade, and were pleasantly surprised when they discovered that the lemonade was actually quite nice. Along the way the Troll Princess decided to abandon the heady world of beverage service to play with the girl next door, but Buster Boy remained resolute. Soon enough the lemonade had run out and I was sent to the kitchen to prepare another batch, and then to the supermarket to buy more cups.
It was fantastic seeing all of these people give some time and a few cents to take part in the kids’ endeavour, they represented a range of ages and without exception treated our kids with warmth and respect. I don’t think I can adequately explain how proud Buster Boy was of himself, the lemonade stand was his idea and he sat on the nature strip until the sun had fallen below Nail Can Hill before he would consider shutting up shop for the day.
The whole experience was an amazing reminder of how wonderful people can be, and what good things can happen if you trust your kids and let them make decisions for themselves. It would have been very easy to dismiss the idea of the lemonade stand, the thought certainly occurred to me, so I’m glad that it ended up showing the kids that they can be rewarded for working hard and believing in themselves.
And what you all really want to know, they made twelve dollars.