Late last fall, my son decided he wanted to start a flower stall to sell our flowers to the neighborhood. This came after a summer of creative, but quite odd, ideas to make money. (Apparently, Mom and Dad do not provide enough allowance!) He had a store to sell art – even custom drawings if you requested one. A neighbor bought a butterfly drawing for her granddaughters (bless you, Melanie) and fueled his entrepreneurial drive. Then he spent months intermittently creating detailed plans to hold a pay-for-the-activites carnival in our front yard, and then a plan to sell paper airplanes and then mysterious inventions. He was livid when these last three ideas were nixed by his cruel and unsupportive parents. Then, as October rolled to a close, he announced that he wanted to create a flower shop. I pointed out the obvious – there were no flowers in October – but that did not deter him. I crossed my fingers and hoped that the idea would pass before spring. He never mentioned it again. Until today.
Now that we have a handful of spring flowers fully in bloom and the weather has warmed and dried enough to sit outside for a stretch without freezing or getting soaked, he announced that he was starting his flower business. After some quick calculations about the likeliness of my increasingly sicker child getting some fresh air while still holding pretty still and resting, I reminded him that he could not cut and sell ALL of my flowers and convinced him that he could sell the flowers better if he cut them on demand. (That is, do not chop up all of my flowers in the optimistic belief that he would sell out.)
He went to work, creating a sign that said “Flowers $1” for bouquets and a price list for individual flowers – taking great care to spell all the words correctly, which is a big deal for a boy who never wants to be slowed down by pesky things like which letters go into a word. He found a stake and put it in the front yard with his signs attached, and then in a stroke of inspiration, added a cowbell, a small drumstick, and a sign that said “Rig for istnc” (which is Impatient Child for “Ring for assistance”). He got a box for his money and, child of the 21st century that he is, thought to label it “Cash only,” since, at 8, he does not own an iPhone and a Square to process payments.
The neighbor who moved in across the street in the fall stopped by to purchase some of our crocuses, and my son came tearing inside with his vast riches: TWO QUARTERS! Proudly, he explained to me (twice) that “someone bought the flowers and it was not a member of the family even.” Of course, moms cannot be left out of these opportunities, so I spent a dollar to buy some of my own daffodils. And a piece of fern too, to make it a bouquet. I was given some of the crocuses for free, because, after all, I am Mom.
At this point, worn out from his bouts of salesmanship and increasing flattened by the nasty cold he has been fighting all week, he is curled up in the big chair and reflecting on his big triumph.
My flowers had better grown quickly this spring.