It’s looking like spring here in Edmonton.
I don’t want to say that too loudly, just in case the powers-that-be are listening . . .
But I just saw the first sign. A lemonade stand. A brother and sister. Little budding entrepreneurs smiling hopefully at everyone who passed.
They were doing a brisk business.
My son, who lives on the West coast, also saw his first stand of the season, though it’s probably not as unique in early April on Vancouver Island as it is here in the frozen north.
Moving on . . .
Said son was lamenting because he wasn’t carrying cash when he spotted the stand and thus wasn’t able to offer any monetary support.
“I hate to not give them anything,” he told me.
I was surprised, not because he isn’t known for his generosity, but because he was so upset about it.
Then he explained:
It turns out that he had been operating a lemonade stand in his distant youth. I’m sure I had something to do with it, though the details are a lot fuzzier for me than for him.
Picture it, if you will. Little eight-year-old dwarfed by the table before him, flanked by paper cups, too-large pitcher of sparkling yellow juice but armed with a big grin and tons of enthusiasm. A large, hand-printed card is prominently displayed. ‘Lemonade: 25¢’.
A construction worker approached and asked for a glass. It was carefully poured and handed over. The man produced a five-dollar bill and passed it to the small boy, who promptly produced his little cash box and started to count.
“Never mind,” the man said. “Keep the change.” Smiling, he left.
Leaving his little server staring at the bill, an incredulous – but happy – smile now covering his face.
That small boy never forgot that act of generosity.
And now, every chance he gets, he pays it forward.