Sunday, May 03, 2009


Now my son became The Lemonade Man yesterday. Long after my yard sale was over, he still was not home. Lunch had been served to the rest of the family, and I was concerned he was staying at the park out of desperation to make money. The boy needed to be nourished and I needed to find him. I walked over the park and thought I saw him when I there was a little boy dressed in the same shorts as my son with a bike trailer similar to ours nearby. Wrong kid; so I kept walking onto the ball field.

As I approached, I could hear the sounds of "Lemonade, Get your ice cold lemonade here!" ringing through the trees. As I got closer, I could see my son, the little entrepreneur he is, standing there with his sign held high and belting out his mantra like hot dog vendor in Yankee Stadium. I felt a sense of pride build inside as I saw mothers, grandmothers, and children alike, lining up to buy.

I slowed my gait and eventually stood behind a tree to watch. I was full of joy watching him pour lemonade and hand out his brownies, but I was so curious to see how much he had actually sold, so I had to approach him.

I had noticed as I came closer, that my son had elicited the help of a tall, blonde girl as his assistant. Boy can he pick em! She is a classmate of his, and she was happily handing out brownies to those who had paid and sticking close to his side. I startled my son when he saw me as he was completely focused on selling his wares. I just stood back and watched as the children walked up, un-threatened by the boy selling lemonade, asking for two or three cups and a brownie.

He was selling hand over fist!

I called my husband to brag about our son when I noticed the Mr. Concession Stand Man over in his makeshift trailer glowering at my son from a distance. He had competition and he didn't like it. When I told my husband, he suggested I leave so the guy wouldn't approach me to get my son to leave. Since it was "my son", and I was "so proud", I decided (probably to my better judgment), that it was a good idea to leave. I asked my son how long it would take him to finish up; he said about 1/2 hour, so I headed on home and suggested he hurry it up so he could have lunch. I took part of his earnings home with me so that he wouldn't have to walk home with it, and he returned to his lemonade chant.

I'm at home, but my son doesn't show up until well over an hour later. I was wondering what held him up when he suddenly drags his hot and tired butt through the door. I found out my son, soon after my departure from the park, had been harassed by the local authorities for selling lemonade in the park.

Mr. Authority Man had lectured my 11 year old son on how he wasn't suppose to be there selling his lemonade because he was "stealing" money from the state, and he needed to pay for fees and permits before he could do what he was doing. Somehow I think that Mr. Concession Stand Man had a part to play in all of this.

"Permission from who?" my son asked back (he was trying to play dumb).

I guess this ticked Mr. Authority Man off because he soon attempted to get into my son's lock box to find out how much money he had made, intending on taking it from him to "give to the State of Florida". My son just told him he just a few bucks before the guy could stick his fingers in the pie. I guess it wasn't enough money for Mr. Authority Man to haggle my son to the ground and fight him over, or handcuff him and haul him to the local pokey for selling reasonably priced lemonade to hot and thirsty ball players. So he backed off the lock box, but continued his lecture on what a "bad boy" my son was for doing what he did.

My son was cool, calm, and collect throughout the whole ordeal of threats and interrogation. He was forced to fold up his lemonade sign and remove all evidence from public view that he was trying to sell anything. In other words, Mr. Authority Man wadded up my son's sign and sent him home packing.

My son was never intimidated. All he cared about was that he had enough money to pay his mother back for the supplies, the $3 he owed his sister for "whatever", and money for his new fishing rod.

I was proud of him for picking a goal and sticking with it. I feel bad that Mr. Authority Man harassed him so. I do think there could have been a more tackful way for Mr. Authority Man to have educated my son instead of treating him like he was a future member of "Gangs R Us".

It is a sad day in American when an 11 year old is harassed for selling freaking lemonade at an innocent ball game being played in the local park. Have we become so petty in our efforts to make money and obtain the rights to everything, that we can't see Mr. Lemonade Man for what he is - a boy learning the ways of earning a living for himself. A boy learning about life.

Well, he got a life's lesson all right. Everything is now a money making game, and if you don't play by the rules - THEIR rules - you don't ever play at all. Shame on you Mr. Authority Man and Mr. Concession Stand Man! He is just a kid and you taught him to be an asshole just like you!

But my son earned himself his own fishing trailer from the effort. My husband took him out and set him up with his own trailer that had attached fishing rod holders and places for bait, and his little lunch when he got hungry. Mr. Lemonade Man can now hook it to the back of his bike and peddle far away from the memory of Mr. Authority Man and his sidekick Concession Stand Man.

WHAM ---- POW ---- KABLAM!


Tara R. said...

The Man is always trying to hold the little guy down. Meh! What was he hurting, he was just a kid. I hate bullies.

Gondooo said...

Good for Julian for keeping his cool! Calum LOL would have told the fella off and no doubt piss the fool off even more. What a nasty bunch doing that to a child. When we were kids that was a normal and very acceptable thing to do. Shame on them! They should be publicly named and shamed!