Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade and Once Upon a Time

Our 11-year-old and I went to the grocery store this morning to buy frozen lemonade concentrate for a play date we were going to later in the day.

Or at least, I thought that is what we were buying.

Instead L. (shown here mugging for my camera phone) insisted we buy actual lemon juice and make the lemonade from scratch.

Then, as we were heading to check-out, he asked if he could please make strawberry lemonade. He went to the produce section for a quart of strawberries.

Once upon a time, I took my boys on play dates. This was years ago, before they started school. I worried L. would feel too sophisticated now for such an event. But he was as excited as I was.
I'd give all wealth that years have piled,
The slow result of Life's decay,
To be once more a little child
For one bright summer day.
~Lewis Carroll, "Solitude"

Nowadays, our sons ride their bikes to friends' houses or have them over here to play board games or video games, or shoot hoops in the backyard. They call this hanging out.
I arranged a play date today to introduce two girlfriends to one another. My friend Margo just moved back to New Jersey with her husband and their three and counting children. I wanted to introduce her to another friend, F., whose husband, J., leads my School of Community.

And so my son and I spent a long, lovely afternoon today with two other moms and five boys and one little girl at F's house. None of the children really know one another, but each of them to a person is sweet and kind. And so they played army, jumped outside on the trampoline, and played downstairs in the basement, where F. has set up an art area. Upstairs we moms talked and talked. And we all drank the strawberry lemonade, which my son had made himself in a big red jug.

The afternoon was nearly idyllic, even though something unexpected happened at its start. Margo arrived late, nearly in tears, because her 11-year-old station wagon had broken down. Between our conversations, she spent time on her cell phone, calling a mechanic, calling a tow truck and worrying about how to get home. For the children, watching the car get towed provided great excitement. (See the two year old, at left)

In the end, J., who works from home, stayed home with their three children, while F. drove Margo and her three children 10 miles back to her apartment. And thus, a friendship I was hoping to foster was nurtured through a little bit of heartache.

As for our son, he had a wonderful time. He didn't feel "too old" for a play date; in fact he told me on our drive home along the Garden State Parkway, how much he had enjoyed working with the 12-year-old boy as they guided the younger children in their play.

We both agree his strawberry lemonade is a keeper.


  1. A delicious summery way through the stuff of life. How cool that L still finds joy in his play date with you.

  2. Ruth: Thanks for stopping by and yes, it is good to see he has joy inside!

  3. I wouldn't even know how to make strawberry lemonade, but I'm a fan of the idea! Great to appreciate the simple moments in life.

  4. what great storytelling, and a look into your son's character and a day in your life. Thank you for sharing on the #LALB linkup!

  5. @Alicia; It is easy peasy: just add sliced strawberries and stir it up. @Jenna: thank you!

  6. I agree with Alicia - it sounds delicious. Sounds like your boy is creative too!

  7. Strawberry lemonade sounds amazing! I love that he wanted homemade lemonade and that he's not too old to play!

  8. Love these simple moments which mean so much...hope that friendship continued.

  9. That was so, so sweet! They really don't ever get too big for adventure. Or lemonade.
    Came from The Lightning & The Lightning-Bug.

  10. What a sweet tale!! Your son sounds amazing. And that strawberry lemonade sounds delicious!