Folks! Here’s a big chunk of a wonderful essay by my friend and fellow journalist Christopher Moore, published in the New York weekly, Our Town. I guess when life hands you lemonade…write a column:
Lemonade Stand-ing Watch by Christopher Moore
At least in my Manhattan ’hood, there are a crazy number of kids out on the sidewalks hawking cold—or at least cold-ish—beverages. The only problem: their parents are out there with them.
The overprotective parent strikes again. And these adults can dramatically change the you’re-on-your-own tradition for kids with summertime stands.
Yes, this is a case of a person without kids criticizing parents, but I’ll go ahead and do it anyway. These kids will be running my nursing home, and I want them to be capable and able to think for themselves. Anyway, if our neighbors can proudly go public with their overparenting, the rest of us surely have a right to notice.
I wasn’t having all these big thoughts the day my partner and I stopped on West End Avenue at a lemonade stand. I liked it. The two girls—my guess is they were around 9 or 10—sold us a couple of plastic cups filled with what tasted a lot more like Crystal Light than homemade lemonade. The girls took the money and delivered the beverages with a pleasant demeanor. All in all, it would have to be considered a better-than-average commercial transaction in present-day New York.
Later, lemonade stands started popping up everywhere. They felt delightfully small-town without anyone having to give up access to Lincoln Center. Seeing youngsters take to the city streets with such enthusiasm can make a tangible, positive difference in how many of us relate to our neighborhoods. With the children, though, can come some pretty conspicuous parents. Like the mom yakking on her cell phone, creating enough of a scene that the children with her seemed like accessories. Mom was there but, thanks to the cell phone, she was also not there. Our modern problem.
A few days later, there was the dad…