Tag Archives: adults

big kids: part 4 of 4


Today marks the final installment of the current “big kids” series. I hope you’ve been enjoying the trip down memory lane. But more importantly, I hope you collected a few things during your journey and brought them back with you, dusted them off, and started playing with them again in the now.

In case you missed them, be sure to catch up to speed on PART 1, PART 2 and PART 3 (particularly PART 1, which sets the stage for each following post, including this one!).

Let’s take one more look at something we used to know as kids, but maybe have forgotten as we’ve gotten older:

Continue reading


big kids: part 3 of 4




Last Thursday, I began a short blog series on some of the best parts of ourselves that may have accidentally (or even intentionally) been left in the past. Be sure to catch PART 1 and PART 2. Not only does PART 1 lay some important groundwork, they’re quick reads; and I believe you’ll find that the potential benefits outweigh the minimal time commitment.

3. Children are pretty comfortable just being themselves.

Kids don’t feel overly concerned about how their runny nose looks or about the grass stain on their pants.

To a certain age (before we condition them otherwise), boys don’t think anything of draping their arm around the neck of their best bud while walking down the street; and girls will toss their dolls aside to make an impromptu mud pie if the mood strikes.

They sing made-up songs on the swing or in a restaurant booth, without regard to who might be listening.

They put on roller-skating shows and dance in the living room.

They skip if it feels right.

They giggle and make faces in the mirror and experiment with character voices in conversations.

Then there are the adults. What happens to us? We stifle the giggles, look in every mirror we pass to be sure our hair is in place and there is nothing in our teeth, and adopt flat-lined voice tones with one another in order to appear “well-adjusted.”

Continue reading

big kids: part 2 of 4


Yesterday, I wrote the first installment in this four-part series.  It had occurred to me in a new way that, for all children don’t yet know, there is an equal amount that adults have forgotten. While it’s not absolutely necessary, I do recommend hopping over and catching up to speed by reading “part 1″ from yesterday, since it contains important groundwork for today’s post (as well as the next two).

2. Children know how to give simple gifts.

How many times have you struggled over what to buy for someone in your circles on their birthday or for a holiday?

Wondering if the gift will be taken as too little. Or too much.

Laboring over the fact that there is nothing they really need.

Or resorting to just grabbing a gift card or cheese wheel at the last minute.

Kids aren’t torn up about such things. Yet somehow, in the absence of high-paying jobs or cash flow, they still manage to excel at gift giving.

Continue reading

lemonade stand

In response to my post entitled “small kindnesses,” my friend Dibby wrote this comment:

…never, ever pass by a lemonade stand without indulging…

When I read this, I knew exactly what she meant and how she meant it.  She thinks like me.  She gets it.

When either of us sees a kid running a lemonade stand, we get excited.  We remember the thrill of being that kid.

Coloring the sign to announce your wares, sure that your graphic artistry and marketing were going to practically pull the people in, almost against their will. Hearing the satisfying “pah!” as you peeled back the plastic lid on the tub of powdered drink mix and being greeted with that smell. Choosing a pitcher that would make the lemonade look most appealing (always glass for me; never plastic). Cracking the ice from the trays into the finished product (having forgotten to do this first, and thus making quite a mess with the splashing). And sometimes, mom would suggest adding lemon wheels she’d cut for you, in order to make it look more authentic and to up the ante.

The card table and folding chairs would be set up close to the road. The sign was affixed with masking tape:




It was imperative that the sign say “ICE COLD,” because that was part of the sure-fire marketing strategy. The pitcher of lemonade was placed front and center, with two upside-down stacks of plastic cups waiting beside.

The tin can would occupy the corner of the table closest to yourself, so that you could look into it often. The money can. I remember the feeling of anticipation in setting it all up while watching the cars go by on the nearby road. Every one that passed before we were open for business was a missed opportunity to start filling that can.

And you imagined that can full. The night before, and that morning as you prepared, you’d do and re-do the figures. “If this many cars stop, then I’ll make this much, and if THIS many cars stop, I could make THIS much,” and so on. Then, of course, you’d begin to break it all down by the hour.

You felt confident. Important. Grown up somehow.

Show time! OK, world, let’s see those dimes! But then . . .

Much to your confusion, the cars would not stop. There would not be a waiting line that was impossible to keep up with. The can would not be getting full. And then your aunt would stop by. Or your grandmother. Or a neighbor. And your mom would suggest that you make the sign bigger with darker letters. Or that maybe if you smiled and waved and didn’t look quite so dejected, that might do the trick.

You’d inevitably give in and drink some of the profits away as the afternoon wore on. How are all these people not as hot as I am? How are they able to resist my lemonade? you’d think, never quite aware that the ice had all melted by now, and that the lemonade was diluted and warm.

But then — once in a while — someone would stop. A stranger. A real live customer. And you’d get your game face on, and sit up a little straighter, and say “Hello!” instead of “Hi.” And you’d pour him a brimming, shaking cup of your warm, iceless lemonade. And instead of a dime, he’d produce a whole dollar! And you’d thank him and offer him more lemonade, which he’d refuse and tell you that you’d need it for other customers, and that he was sure this was the time of day when most people really got the hankering for lemonade. And you’d wave after him as he drove away. Then you’d grin at your dollar, wide eyed. And you’d refill that pitcher and add some more ice and wipe your brow. By gum, you were back in it!


I’ve made it my goal to be that guy. The guy who always stops, whether he is thirsty or not. The guy who saves the day. Who gives the whole dollar (and sometimes a five) with a wink and tells them how terribly thirsty he was, and that he really didn’t know what he would have done had they not had that lemonade stand.

The ability to take someone else’s perspective goes beyond literature and lemonade stands. It’s a conscious choice to really see the others around us. To value them. To empathize. And to engage.

A me-centered life is a lonely and strangely unsatisfying one. Self is never satisfied. The more we feed it, the hungrier it gets.

lemonade stand: Self is never satisfied. The more we feed it, the hungrier it gets.

On the other hand, choosing to adopt more others-centered attitudes and actions connects us, bringing with it a sense of joy, belonging and purpose.

It’s Memorial Day weekend. Summer is here. Be on the lookout for the lemonade stands near you.

And stop.

Quick Link to Subscribe: Button
Quick Link to Comment: Button

Are you ready for some real change in your life right now?

The Best Advice So Far is about choice. Filled with wit, humor and poignantly real stories, The Best Advice So Far shares collective wisdom through a new lens, as well as practical application for living like it matters (because it does).


(click the image)

The Best Advice So Far in Print: Amazon


(click the image)