Wednesday, June 27, 2012

thoughts on lemonade standing

My kids are obsessed with lemonade stands.
Or "lemonade standing" as Sawyer has always liked to call it.

Despite the fact that we only hold our own once, maybe twice a year, there's not a week goes by -and probably even monthly in the winter- -with maybe a change-up to "hot chocolate stand"- when I don't hear them ask if we can do a lemonade stand.

They LOVE it.  It probably helps that we usually tag on cookies or cupcakes with our lemonade, but really they enjoy almost nothing more in the summer than to decorate their signs, gather some spare change to start up their money box, and hang out in the driveway all day singing, "lemonade for sale! get your ice cold lemonade!!"  (can you tell we've hit the ball games a few times??)

Well this week was our week.
With a mere 88° day before we get into this:

I promised we could get it together for the *cool* day this week, which so happens to have been yesterday.

We whipped up some cake batter cookies (both lemon and pink lemonade!!) to sell along with our lemonade and the kids hit the curb.


While I sat inside on the couch, in the ac, watching from the window. ;)

I love that they're old enough to do it pretty much on their own now.

I don't love that we don't have the friendliest neighborhood for lemonade stands these days.

The difference between our last neighborhood and this one:
Last neighborhood: people walked by on their way to the pool and stopped, people drove by and parked and got out and bought their lemonade and maybe chatted the children up a bit, and people even came out of their way to visit our driveway when they knew the kids had their table set up.

This neighborhood: no one walked by in the three hours the kids were out there, people drove by and waved pretended they didn't see them, people drove up to the curb, handed their money out the window and "ordered" their lemonade like a drive thru window.  With about as much interaction.  (one lady even handed out her Chick-fil-A cup and asked for a refill in that!)

Last neighborhood: the kids raked in the cash (not that this is the point here people, but this is just a comparison!)... all in ones and lots and lots of change.  Like over $40 worth.  With LOTS of customers and friends hanging out and even coming back for seconds.

This neighborhood: the kids oddly make as much money, but it's all in ones, fives and tens(!!) from customers saying "keep the change".  With far fewer customers, far less neighborlyness, far less interaction, far less work and much more just being handed the money because they're out there.

Now, I'm all for being generous and encouraging and padding the kids' money jar to treat them and get them excited about their "job".
But it's not a substitute for being a neighbor and caring to get to know the kids down the street from you or actually taking two minutes out of your day to appreciate a cool lemonade and sweet cookie from some smiley kids rather than just feeling obligated to hand over a five as you barely slow to a roll at the curb.
What is that teaching my kids except all they need to do is park themselves out there and look cute for the morning?
(they don't just park themselves out there, btw... they wave their little signs and dance around when cars come like they're advertising for a high school youth group car wash!)(and look cute)

I'm always showing Ryan the little ecards things I see on pinterest that make me laugh... they're little quips that are usually hilarious, but most often because there are life truths in them... you know which I'm talking about?  Ryan asked me today, after he watched the kids outside for about 30 minutes, and seeing the amount of cars that sped by paying to attention (on a residential street, mind you), "have you ever seen one of those pinterest postcard things about how stopping at a kid's lemonade stand is like a life rule or something? because it really should be."

Not that the whole afternoon was like that.  Our friends around the corner stopped by and we had one other chatty someone... and the new elderly neighbor across the street made her way over for some refreshments.  So we do have a (rare) few friendly neighbors.
It's just frustrating because we do have a community pool... and we do have lots of kids in our neighborhood... it's just that as the norm, it's not as friendly and really truly neighborly as we're used to.  :(


jenny said...

boo for sucky neighbors (or a sucky neighborhood). my kids have never had a stand so i have no idea how it would go, but i think it would be much more like your old neighborhood. and i agree, stopping at a kids lemonade stand and making them feel like all their hard work paid off ... should be a life rule. :) we would have stopped!

Mom said...

You really did have an amazing neighborhood in MO.But I think it is great that the kids get so excited over their lemonade stand.How COULD anyone resist ???XOXOX

Kim said...

i always stop at lemonade stands! but not in my neighborhood, since i live in the country, and i'm one of those people that don't get out. oops. :)

i do think that your old neighborhood was probably an exception, unfortunately. i know that our old neighborhood when we lived in town would be nothing like that. and to be honest, i'm actually shocked that your kids had as much business as they did! we lived in an awesome neighborhood growing up, but when my sister and i had lemonade stands, we were thrilled if we got one customer! :) haha! OMG - $40, i would have DIED.

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