One night, as the girls lay in bed all tucked up under their covers with the lights dimmed, Rael shouts the same thing she does each and every night: "Mama, can you tell us a story when you were little?"
My brain thinks hard for a minute to remember another interesting story that I haven't yet told my daughters. As the girls smiled, waiting to hear what I have to say, I suddenly remember one of my favorite childhood memories with my sister Lisa. I begin to tell them: "One summer, when Auntie Lisa and I were young, we painted the biggest cardboard box we could find. Then we cut it into the coolest lemonade stand. My dad would take us everymorning to buy lemonade and hot dogs so we could sit outside and sell them. We lived on the quietest street in the whole neighborhood so lots of our business was from our friends that lived a few houses down or my parents returning over and over again. But we had so much fun and we would just sit and wait for customers while mostly drinking all of the lemonade and eating all of the food."
Laylie pipes up: "I want to do that!!!" So I say, "Okay, that would be fun!" not thinking too much about it.
Well, summer came and every week without a beat she would say in a sweet voice "Mama, can we do my lemonade stand soon?" and I would just reply "Sure, soon." knowing we had a busy weekend full of things to do and things to get done.
Then, I blinked and summer was almost over, as she started back up at school. Others were busy getting ready for the new season but the weather was still near 100 degrees. I knew she wanted to do the lemonade stand so bad and it was a constant dream of hers so I knew I had to make it happen for her. I looked at the calendar and thatwas open. I texted Jason, "Can you stop by the store on the way home from work and pick up some lemonade and ice? We are going to have Laylie's lemonade stand ."
Later that afternoon, Jason arrived with grocery bags in hand and says "Here is the stuff for the lemonade stand!" Laylie, sitting at the counter doing art, completely beams with delight and says, "We are doing it??" I reply, "Yes! And we can do flowers, a table cloth, some straws, ice..." Laylie quickly grabs a pen and a piece of paper and says, "I am going to make a list!"
That night we created banners together, went through my party bins in the garage pulling out fun things and we put everything together in a pile. "Wow, it's going to be so fun," Laylie's eyes beamed.
The next morning, as we started mixing lemonade, I asked her: "Laylie, what do you want to do with the money you will get for selling all of this lemonade? You can buy a really cool big toy, or maybe give it away to someone that needs it." Without even a thought she said, "YES, I want to send it to Marcelia, Sanderlina, and Daniel!" (Those are our 3 Compassion International children we sponsor.) I smiled. "That's so thoughtful, honey. They will be so blessed."
As we set up the lemonade stand on the corner of our street, I keep repeating, "It's so hot today! People are going to want lemonade, Laylie!" Before we even set the jug of lemonade up on the table a sweet young man arrived at the table with a $10.00 bill in his hand. He asked Laylie, "What are you going to do with your money?" Laylie replied in her cute voice, "I am going to give it to kids that don't have any money." Laylie filled up his cup with ice cold refreshing lemonade, and handed it over with the biggest smile on her face. She was so thrilled to be living her summer dream, and being just like her mama when she was little. Soon after loads of people stopped by: Uncle Tim, Grandpa, Auntie Lindsay, Auntie Lisa, the Davidsons, the Williams, the Turners, G.G., Mamoe, Grandad, Auntie Lila, Melanee, Marla, Tadee, a triple A truck driver, runners passing by, and even lots of neighbors stopped by to buy some lemonade. Each and every time Laylie personally greeted them and happily poured their lemonade.
We spent hours in the sunshine and hanging out with people we adore or ones we just met. Laylie kept saying all evening, "it was so much fun and I loved it"
The following morning, as a family, we watched a few Compassion International videos showing the girls what some of the living conditions are for our sponsored children. We all sat together on the couch and wrote letters to our children, and sent the money from the Lemonade stand as gifts to the children and their families. It was such a joyous moment for Jason and I to see our girls wanting to provide for others and to see Laylie run her lemonade stand with such purpose and passion.
Thank you to all of our family and friends for your love and support by stopping by on yourafternoon for an ice cold cup of lemonade made with love by our girls.