One surefire sign of spring in the Boston suburbs is the emergence of curbside lemonade stands: something straight out of Norman Rockwell. Earlier today, J and I drove past a couple of kids who were trying to wave down passing cars on a busy street. One of them was wearing a rainbow-colored clown wig and waving a sign, but we were driving the wrong way and traffic was too heavy for us to stop. Last week I’d seen a different set of kids selling lemonade on this same busy street, but they were lucky enough to have set up their stand before a stop sign at rush hour, so they had a captive audience. But in that case, too, I was going the wrong way and wasn’t able to stop.
When we’re exploring our neighborhood on foot, though, J and I make a point to stop at lemonade stands: how can you walk past cute kids trying to sell something? Parents in our neighborhood tend to be civic-minded, so most of the kids we’ve encountered sell lemonade to raise money for charity. Over the years, we’ve sipped lemonade to raise money for the earthquakes in Haiti, the tsunami in Japan, and endangered tigers in Asia. At each makeshift stand, I can imagine the conversation that led to its creation, with a kid asking Mom or Dad what they can do to help some horrible situation they’ve seen on TV, and Mom or Dad suggesting a lemonade stand as a worthwhile pursuit. Think globally, sell lemonade locally.
So this afternoon when J and I were out walking and saw a couple of kids selling sparkling pink lemonade to raise money for tomorrow’s Walk for Hunger, we couldn’t say no. Instead, we bought a couple cups, helped the kids met their fundraising goal, and walked on, the ice-cold pink beverage in our cups matching the bright flowering hue of the Boston suburbs in May.