Give your kids some lemons and watch them make a lemonade stand…

If it’s a warm summer day and the kids start to complain about not having anything to do, you’ll probably scour the internet looking for a fun activity to occupy them. If you read a blog post about how lemonade stands are becoming a commercialized, family affair you’ll probably want to give your kids the opportunity to make an inexpensive one the old-fashioned way: by themselves.

So you’ll google “homemade lemonade” (since you’ve never made it from scratch yourself) and find the perfect recipe for young do-it-yourself-ers. While you’re surfing the net, the kids will find some pieces of posterboard left over in the back of your closet and ask you for a sharpie. You’ll find one in the junk drawer which will remind you that you need to clean and organize your drawers. Meanwhile, the kids will get creative making signs for their lemonade stand without arguing and decide to attach one to the side of the wagon.

When they go to the garage to get the wagon, they’ll notice the wagon is dirty and ask you where the rags are so they can wipe out the dirt. After rescuing your best kitchen dish towels, you won’t be able to remember what you were doing before the interruption. So once the wagon is clean, you’ll load all the kids into the hot car and drive across town to the grocery store to buy lemons, cups and ice. While you are there, you’ll think, “It’s a great day for a cook-out!” and also buy fruit, hot dogs, buns, and all the fixings.

When you get home, you’ll give your kids the lemons and watch carefully as they cut the lemons in half. Then you’ll step back and watch them make lemonade. One girl will do the juicing, one will do the pouring and stirring and another will go pick some mint leaves.

While they are working, you will go to the garage and find the cooler so they can keep the ice and lemonade cold. You’ll notice it’s a little dirty so you’ll want to wipe it clean before giving it to the middle child. When you come back to the kitchen, one girl will be slicing a lemon and putting the pieces into the pitcher and another will be dropping in the mint leaves.

You’ll take a moment to bask in their pride and sense of accomplishment at doing everything without your help, then watch as they load their goods onto the wagon.

You will wave goodbye as they pull the wagon around the curve in the cul de sac and set up their stand on the street corner.

Then you’ll go back into the kitchen, survey the lemon-scented mess and think to yourself, “It’s beautiful.”

But seeing the dirty dishes will remind you that you should probably clean up before making supper. Then you’ll remember that you don’t have to clean up yet since you are going to grill hot dogs. So you’ll decide to sit down and relax for a moment instead.

When you sit down, you’ll think about sending a text to your husband about the lemonade stand but realize that your phone is at the other end of the house. When you get up to find your phone, one of the girls will run in with exciting stories about customers who left “tips,” and how everyone said their lemonade is the “yummiest. ever.”

For some reason, this will make you think about checking the mail. So you will find your mail key and walk to the mailbox. While you are opening your mailbox, you will spy your husband walking home from the bus. You will want to give him the quarters in your pocket so he can go buy some lemonade.

Then you will walk back home and grill supper. The kids will be having so much fun by this time that they won’t want to come home and eat. So you will make them a plate of hot dogs and take it to them. When they see the plate of food, they will be glad to see you.

And when one sister returns the empty plate to the kitchen, you will send her back with ice cream sandwiches for them all.

After another hour, they will probably come home with an empty lemonade pitcher and sparkling eyes as they tell you about their adventure. They will tell you how many people stopped and how they are never going to use a lemonade mix because homemade lemonade tastes way better. When they tell you how much fun they had making and selling lemonade,  and that this has been the “most excellent day ever,” you will be very happy for them. When you find out that they made $24, you and they will be proud.

And chances are, if they’ve had this much fun making lemonade and another warm summer day is on its way, they’ll probably want to do it all over again tomorrow.

Or something like that 🙂

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