One of the fun parts of being a kid was trying to do things just like adults did. Like wearing my dads shoes or, more impressively, starting a business and finding a way to make my own money. When I was young, this often came in the form of a lemonade stand in the summer months. I realize it’s a spring theme this month, but it’s simply what came to mind first. I initially thought the neighbors were just being polite, but soon realized that when it’s hot as hell, lemonade is quite a compelling product. Though the prices were much lower when I was little. For example, in the Peanuts cartoons that were especially popular back then, Lucy offered Charlie Brown “psychiatric advice” for only five cents! I think these lemonade stands were supposed to teach early business lessons, but since my parents provided all of the materials and rent for free, it wasn’t quite a perfect simulation. But each time I see a pitcher of lemonade it still brings back fond memories.
I’ve moved outside to the terrace to complete this post, as the weather is absolutely beautiful today. There’s no lemonade in front of me now, just a lovely glass of wine. And the combination of the two is completely distracting. What was I talking about? Oh yes, selling lemonade. Or rather, that experience of spending a childhood trying to be like an adult. Now that I’ve become an actual adult, or mostly, I realize there are many things that I don’t particularly enjoy. Like today, when I had to renew my driver’s license. It’s not that the experience was horrible as, miraculously, they weren’t very busy. But, I managed to lean too far backward in front of the camera and now have a bit of double chin on my photo. I was, at first, appalled as I don’t have one in reality, but then figured it will be nice in the end. Now, when anyone looks at it, they’ll smile and nod approvingly at me knowing that I must have succeeded in my diet goals. And I’ll just look back at them and smile confidently, basking in my fake success.
I think when I was little, I assumed that one day my tiny business would boom into something that would make me rich. I’m sure that as I sat there, peddling my lemon drinks from a mix that my mother helped me make, I was certain this was the beginning of something great. In a way, I was right. I’m not rich. That never actually happened. But I think I’ve learned that there are other ways to feel rich in life. Like having the people you love most around you and feeling the gently cool breeze of a perfect spring day. These moments, the ones that seem so simple, are the real riches that life can bring. Sure, I have wild and wonderful goals that I still want to achieve, but right now, in this moment, none of that matters. I’m simply content. Living in the now, and enjoying the fact that what actually happened isn’t such a bad thing after all. It’s all part of my story. A story that’s still unfolding with each passing day. Who knows, maybe I’ll kick things up a notch and get those dreams on track this summer. Or, if nothing else, maybe I’ll just open a lemonade stand.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Indian Yellow, Phthalocyanine Blue, Dioxazine Purple, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al-Star Fountain Pen – Extra Fine, with Platinum Carbon black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!