****Caution: Bragging Father Alert*******
One of the neat things about parenthood is seeing your son or daughter do well at something, especially if it is unexpected. This morning our oldest son had to put in a shift, in the rain, at the local grocery for a cub scout fundraiser. They had a table set up outside the Stop & Shop in Ossining, where they were selling popcorn to benefit Pack 49. Luke was part of the first shift, from 11-12am, and the first 10 minutes was punctuated by 2 other scouts sort of mumbling to passersby with limited success.
Now, you have to sort of appreciate the setting; it is raining, people are in a hurry to get to their cars, and nobody really wants to part with more money after leaving the store, especially for popcorn at double what they just passed in aisle 7. Moreover, Luke was a little slow to get started this morning, a bit shy with strangers, and very sensitive. I sort of hoped he'd blend into the background to avoid rejection, frankly.
However, I can't not sell. I knew the kids could do a better job with their pitch, so I stationed Luke right by the exit and had him get the line down cold:
"Would you like to buy some popcorn to support our pack?"
Then, yes, no or maybe, say "Thank you!" cheerfully.
The first 2 or 3 people walked on by, but after about 5 minutes of practice, Luke was a natural. Every person who left the store got a faceful (and earful) of the little guy's well-articulated pitch, followed by that adorable tooth-deficient grin. Even many of the people who didn't want to buy anything would look right at him and say "wow, aren't you cute!" or something like it. The little bugger stole the show.
As every parent will attest, our children do the cutest things right before or after we turn on the camera. However, I was able to capture on my cell phone, Luke turning around a "NO" with his cheerful attitude. As you can see, he is standing right at his little station, and the lady compliments him on his politeness and sweetness, and then heads over to the table to make a purchase. The quality is a bit Zapruder-like, and another scout puts his hand up in front of the camera to be a wise guy, but you can still make it all out.
Whats the moral of the story? Attitude is everything. It could have been a rainy, boring hour but Luke's decision to give his all made my day. I am very proud of him. He might end up being a better salesman than his old man.