It's time to stock up on paper cups and patience, my friends: lemonade stand season is here! Prepare to have a roller coaster of thoughts.
It finally happens. Without warning, a day appears on the calendar for which there are no plans. No work or school or sports or recitals or graduations or practices or mandatory celebratory events requiring fancy shoes your kids probably no longer fit into. The sun hangs high in the sky, promising fine weather and the freedom to do whatever you want—including nothing at all. Oh, yes. "Nothing at all" sounds wonderful, doesn't it?
As you close your eyes to take in a slow, grateful breath for this reprieve, there is a 100% chance that a voice will chime in at top volume from out of nowhere, saying, "Mom, can I have a lemonade stand today?"
Mothers are usually quite savvy creatures, what with our We'll sees and our I'll think about its at the ready for when kids ask for these sorts of things. But kids are clever, too. They can smell a moment of weakness and will pounce without hesitation. This is why we all find ourselves reluctantly agreeing to the mental roller coaster that is putting together a last-minute lemonade stand with our little ones.
Here is a sampling of the many thoughts moms have from the moment we're asked to whip up this small business. Hopefully, at the end of the day, we'll think that it's worth the effort, after all.
- No. No way. We finally have a free day. I want to be free. FREE.
- But I did promise her. And delay her. Over and over again.
- Uuuuuuugh Mom Guilt strikes again.
- OKAY FINE. Let's do this. And don't forget to smile while agreeing to it.
- Do we even have lemonade? I'm definitely not going out to buy lemonade.
- This dented canister of "Lemon Drink" with a dust-covered expiration I'm not going to look at is close enough, right?
- I'll just cut up the lemon I was going to use for tonight's dinner and put it in the pitcher to make it look more lemonadey.
- Poster board. Hm. How about random sheets of printer paper taped together, instead? Yeah. That'll do.
- OMG her posters are the cutest things I've ever seen. Kid handwriting is my favorite. I don't even care that she spelled "lemonade" wrong.
- Cups. We need cups! I shall now hunt and gather any and all rogue paper cups from bathrooms and that box of birthday party supplies. Mismatching is cool, right?
- Ow ow ow ow ow pretend I didn't just almost lose a finger opening this stupid folding table on the lawn. Smile, woman. SMILE IN CASE THE CHILD EXCITED ABOUT THIS ANNOYING ENDEAVOR IS WATCHING YOU.
- Is she still working on those posters?
- Thank goodness she's so focused on the posters she doesn't notice me pilfering quarters from her Tooth Fairy money for the change box.
- Ice. Paper towels. Chairs. Okay, time to hang the posters.
- WHERE IS ALL THE SCOTCH TAPE? I JUST BOUGHT LIKE SIX ROLLS OF IT.
- Thank goodness for duct tape.
- Where did she disappear to?
- Looks like I'm hanging the signs by myself. Surprise, surprise.
- I am exhausted already. And sweaty. And lightly bleeding from the finger. And never doing this again.
- OMG she changed into an all-yellow outfit, is decorating the table with plastic lemons from her toy kitchen and…what's she doing with her old fishbowl?
- She's collecting donations for poor people in the fishbowl. I do not deserve this kid.
- Sunscreen her. Sunscreen me.
- Sunglasses for her. Sunglasses for me.
- Stop her from drinking all of the product.
- We're open for business!
- Sitting in the sunshine isn't so bad.
- Why is no one stopping?
- Seriously. Why. Is. No. One. Stopping?
- I'll just take a picture and put it on social media to rally neighborhood friends to come by. That'll help.
- I swear I will chase down and key the next car that doesn't stop for my sweet-faced baby who waves at them with a giant, welcoming grin. I will. I WILL.
- Someone's stopping!
- My girl. When did she get so big, so good at chatting people up?
- Now someone else is coming! YAY!
- I'm not crying while watching her help customers. Nope. Not at all.
- Why didn't I bring any tissues out here?
- Next time I'll definitely remember to bring out tissues.