A few days ago the children and I were on our weekly park hopping expedition…Park Hopping, if you were wondering is a marvelous activity in which we tour all around town looking for new parks to discover. We have found big parks and little parks. Parks that are hidden in the midst of tall houses and parks in plain view from the long and narrow walking paths we travel.
So as we were engaging in our park uncovering adventures we came across a young man sat behind a large red cooler with a cardboard sign attached to it. The sign read, “Ice Tea.” I wanted to correct the kid and tell him that it is actually properly pronounced, ‘Iced Tea’ but I was concerned that may come off a bit assholeish. Plus the kid was like 7.
So instead the children and I slowed down and stopped at his ‘Ice tea’ stand for a quick refresher.
As soon as this 7 year old entrepreneur realized we were actually going to stop, his look of boredom and dreariness quickly transformed. A new child sat before me as I arrived in front of his makeshift kiosk with a bright smile and a cheery, “Hello what can I get for you.”
“Hello good sir, I see you are selling iced tea.” I really put some good enunciation on the ‘iced’ part too. What the hell is wrong with me?
“Yeah a dollar a cup.” Wow a little steep I’d say but who am I to argue with the small child selling beverages on the side of the road. So I bought 3 glasses of literally the worst iced tea I had ever drank in my entire life. The kids and I sipped it sparingly.
“Yummy, good stuff.” I blurted out to no one in particular. Lars and Sophie just stared up at me with a blank, what-are-you-talking-about look. The kid on the other hand must have decided the comment was meant for him and responds with,
“Ya well everyone else thinks it crap.” I’m not going to lie, I was definitely taken aback by this small persons candor.
“Oh yeah? That’s…Rude of them to say.” What the hell is one supposed to answer back to that?
“I dunno, I don’t think it’s very good either.” He flings back nonchalantly.
“Well, why are you selling it then?” I don’t know why I continue to pursue this ridiculous conversation with the boy, but I do.
“I didn’t want it to go to waste.” That is some solid logic I will give him that.
“You could always add more powder to it to make it a bit stronger.” I offer the kid now feeling a bit sorry for him.
“No I have to spread it thin…” Yes the kid actually said “spread it thin.”
I laughed because that term coming out of a small child’s mouth sounds completely ludicrous. He gave me an odd look that somehow made me feel inferior and then carried on.
“I need to sell a lot of glasses of juice because I need to buy a dog.” This is the moment when my heart melted just a tiny bit.
“Oh well that’s awesome! It’s very fun to have a pet dog.” And I immediately feel bad about laughing at him.
“I don’t need a pet I need a guard.” He says in an unnerving tone.
“Why?” Is all I can muster myself to counter with.
“So it can guard my birthday money.” He replies with a roll of the eyes and a shrug as though I should have obviously came to this conclusion on my own.
I told him that was a very smart idea and then bought another three glasses for the road. Now that I look back at the exchange of words this child and I had I wonder if I should have grabbed more information. Like why he was concerned someone was going to steal his birthday money in the first place. Or how he planned to train the dog to guard the infamous birthday money.
But I didn’t, so now we come to this tales end.
Moral of the story: There are 2 reasons to ALWAYS stop at Iced Tea Stands.
- For the insightful conversation.
- You never know when a kid will really really needs to make some quick cash to purchase a guard to guard his cash.
It was the most straight forward thing I had heard all day.