Dear friends, the love and support being sent our way regarding the lemonade stand incident is overwhelming. I mean it — actually overwhelming. We don't know what to do with all of it! Thank you. I'm sorry I can't respond to each question that’s come directly, but I'll do my best to answer them all here:
For those who want to give the boys a gift, thank you. That is a very kind gesture. It probably goes without saying, but we've already FAR surpassed in gifts the amount that was stolen... but I know that's not what these gifts are about. We're talking with the boys about how to best use the money for its intended purpose and in a way that honors those of you who are sending it. As far as ways to send gifts, I'm sharing my Cash App account ($nathanpeterson) and PayPal address (http://paypal.me/helloindustry). And it looks like a local school teacher has started a fundraiser for us as well (maybe someone can post a link in the comments?). To be clear, we don't know the guy running it, but he did contact me first and we know someone who knows him, so it feels legit to me.
We've talked at length about whether the boys will continue to do their lemonade stand, and while I can't speak for our son's friend and his family, we are feeling like we will allow our son to continue the stand if he wants, which he does. We're talking about ways to make it more safe for him — we would never put our child at risk — but I have a feeling that particular spot is going to be watched more closely than it ever has. And there happens to be a security camera pointing directly at their spot (yes, police are inspecting footage from Friday). It's hard as a parent to find the balance between healthy protection and over-protection, so we're navigating that together.
I want to believe that we live in a world that is safe for a 13-year-old child to have a lemonade stand. I think that is probably what most of us are feeling.
We ALL are going through a lot of very difficult things this year, and something like kids being mugged trying to have a lemonade stand is just too much for most of us. That's why it's so important that we not only share "news worthy" headlines like "lemonade stand held up at gunpoint," but we work doubly hard to point to beauty and life wherever we see it. I saw a lot of beauty and life during the hours after this incident. I saw it in all colors of people. I saw it in police officers. This isn't to say that the headlines are wrong or don't exist — they do. There was a gun. These kind of things, and worse, are happening. And it is unacceptable. But we have to become okay with the fact that while horrific things are happening, beautiful things are also happening. While death is happening, so is life. Both at once. We can't afford, as people on the East Bluff or as Americans or as human beings, to lose sight of the full picture. Life is an oscillation between the good and the bad, and our ability to be with all of it at once, as difficult is that is to do, is so important.
Thanks again for showing us so much beauty and life and love through this!