Today is the first day of school for the kids in my neighborhood. That means no more bikes in the street, teens on the stroll, or lemonade on the corner.

You read that right…lemonade on the corner.

A small group of children erected a lemonade stand in my neighborhood this summer. They had a well organized system. The stand was always staffed with 2-3 people, one for sales and one for advertising (which usually consisted of a sign on a poster board and an enthusiastic cheerleader). The staff was larger on Fridays and often their friends would lemonade2stop by in the afternoons to chat. I aptly named them the Lemonade Kids. They didn’t seem to have many customers but I applauded their efforts.

I never purchased any of their product because I don’t eat or drink from children’s dirty little hands nothing can compare to Me and the Bees Lemonade, but I frequently stopped to chat with the children and make a donation to their business endeavor. I learned that the profit from their sales this summer would be split between two of the boys who attended a local middle school. These really were great kids and it warmed my heart to see their positive, creative use of time this summer.

During my last stop at the lemonade stand, I was just about to drive off when I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a police car pull over behind me. My first thought was, “They had better not run these kids off of this corner!” I reached into my bag in case I needed to start recording because, well…no need for further explanation. But when I looked in the mirror again, I saw the two officers approaching the children with money in their hands. They were buying lemonade! I got out of the car, chatted with them, and thanked them for their support. They allowed me to snap this photo but asked that I not share their names or badge numbers.

Children’s faces masked to protect their privacy.

I want to wish the Lemonade Kids a great first day of school and a prosperous academic year. This summer, they practiced communication, math, science, and teamwork, skills that will reward them for the remainder of the school year and the rest of their lives.

Thanks again to the law enforcement officers who thought enough of the kids on the corner to sip a little lemonade.