Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lemonade Dreams

The boy wants a Kindle Fire.

My youngest son Nate has been diligently saving every penny, dime, nickel, and dollar since January 15th to buy himself a Kindle Fire. He loves to read (here he is below with his school award for meeting his reading goals).

He saved the $90 in birthday money. He saved the $2 he got from Great Grandma to go get an ice cream on Valentine's Day. He saved the 50 cents he found when he cleaned out my car.

He decided to not spend his money on a Wii game. He decided against purchasing more toy cars. He's avoided toys at the dollar store.

He's been counting down in his head until he gets the $199 to purchase his Kindle.

So two weeks ago, he came home and wanted to do a lemonade stand.

On Monday, I said, "Yeah, maybe one day this summer." I left it that thinking he'd forget.

On Tuesday when he remembered, I said, "I'm not sure people buy lemonade at stands anymore and we don't have family here."

On Wednesday when he woke up begging me again, I said, "I'll look at my schedule and see when we can do it."

On Wednesday, he came home from school, pulled a chair up to the table with a stack of college-rule lined notebook paper. He sat for 2.5 hours writing out 35 flyers to hand out. He left a big blank area for me to fill in date, time, and location. He wrote in his best handwriting and drew pictures on each and every hand-written flyer.

On Wednesday night, I caved. After all that hard work, it was evident I was committed to helping him with a lemonade stand.

We chose Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon. I purchased the lemonade. Rob brought the "coolest pitchers ever" - according to Nate. I borrowed a table, grabbed my tablecloth, and we made a couple of signs. I created a private event on Facebook to invite all my friends.

Sunday morning, we set up. I tried my best to prepare Nate for the worst. "Honey, we might only make a few dollars and we're only staying here until noon, ok?"

He had $32 to reach his goal.

He set up on the corner and waited (not very patiently). I have to admit I'd buy lemonade from this cutie.
It was slow going and he was getting disappointed. I told him he should wave at cars and smile (everyone likes a friendly, cute, outgoing kid). By 10:15, Nate had his first customer (and it wasn't a friend or family member, it was a complete stranger):
She paid 50 cents for her cup of lemonade and gave him a 50 cent tip. He had the biggest grin. He just knew the $32 was in sight.

It was a little slow but then the church crowd got out and from 11 to noon, Nate's little stand was filled with people dressed in their Sunday best.

Many older people smiled and shared stories of how they missed little lemonade stands.

Many, many people commented that they'd watched a show just the night before where Glen Beck was talking about how the lemonade stand was disappearing for good and with it, the entrepreneurship of our country.

And nearly everyone told Nate what a great thing he was doing saving his money. He even had one lady hear his story and come buy just to give him $5.

All in all, Nate spent two hours pouring lemonade and talking to people. He made $41.20 (after he paid me back $6.00 for ice, lemonade mix, and lemons - cost of business).

He also learned important lessons:
  • With hard work, we can achieve our goals.
  • If we're willing to save, you can have the things you want.
  • Smiling and waving (being friendly) will draw the customers in.
  • Quality control is important. I was proud to see Nate not serve a couple of cups of lemonade because a speck of dirt had gotten in the glass.
  • Manners are important. It was fun to hear him say Please, Thank You, and May I offer you a glass of lemonade.
Problem is now, he's trying to figure out how to repeat his success. Only this time, he's decided he should dress up in a lemon costume and dance. Oh yes, I will capture video.

Off to take Nate to buy his Kindle Fire......

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