Hey Neighbor

“MOM! There’s a kid at the door!”

Naturally, I had to go investigate because I always have to because all three of my kids are knocking-door and ringing-phone averse.

It was a little boy — about 7 — one of our many new-ish neighbors. A bunch of kids live next door, like 50 of them. OK, so it’s really just five, which is basically the equivalent of 50. I haven’t heard their names bellowed often enough at the top of their parents’ lungs to know who’s who yet.

He looked up at me — his big, brown eyes wide and expectant — and he was holding a Solo cup with both hands, like it was a precious treasure. He spoke in one breathless, run-on sentence.

“My sister and I want to make some money and so we made this smoothie and I poured it into this cup and then mixed it all up with a Popsicle stick and it’s $2.”

I’m familiar with smoothie making and that’s not how it’s done. Still, I appreciate that entrepreneurial spirit. A loooooooong time ago, No. 3 decided to one-up his sisters’ lemonade stand and sell homemade Morph suits, which are essentially full-body leotards. Yeah, I don’t know why that was his Shark Tank item, but that’s what he wanted to do. He made them … out of my old tights.

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Pictured here is NOT one of the Morph suits No. 3 was actually peddling.

I knew they would be a tough sell, but I also didn’t want to crush that burgeoning Mark Cuban spirit. Luckily he told his grandmother about his plan, and she agreed to buy out his inventory after he’d only spent about 10 minutes at the base of our driveway with his wares piled up on a TV table tray.

Now, there was a new Gordon Gekko on the block.

And he wanted cash. And he was so cute, like a live-action anime character! How could I say no?

“Sounds like a great deal!”

Off I went on a scavenger hunt for money. My wallet, of course, was empty, except for some emergency Benadryl in the coin pocket. My husband only had $20s, which seemed excessive to just hand over and let him keep the change. I mean, I didn’t want to set too high a bar. Luckily one of my kids had two crisp, $1 bills.

“Here you go!” I forked over the cash, and the tycoon-in-training passed me the cup.

“Thank you SO much!” I said.

Transaction complete, I started to shut the door. He wasn’t leaving. He was still staring at me. Oh shoot — he wanted me to actually drink it.

“Aren’t you going to try?” he asked.

I peeked into that foamy red brew. I knew better, but I went ahead and raised that cup to my lips and took the teensiest sip. Alas, it was not a strawberry margarita pretending to be a smoothie.

“Wow, it’s really delicious. Thank you!”

“You like it?!”

“Mmmmhmmm. It’s yummy.”

He grinned and turned to his sister who’d wandered over and was now standing just behind him.

“WHOO HOO! WE GOT TWO DOLLARS!” he screamed. He peeled off one dollar and handed it to her and together they sprinted home.

I’m pretty sure it was cherry Emergen-C in that matching Solo cup, but no one else in the house was brave enough to take a swig and verify.

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