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7:15 AM EDT, June 12, 2013
It's just a little, grey building.
Nothing special, really.
But the Snack Shack at our favorite Little League field turned out to be my phone booth, transforming me into a different Mom.
It was my evening to volunteer. Ben helped me unlock the door, swing down the window and set-up the cash box. He looked around wide-eyed at the variety of Big League Chew, Skittles, Ring Pops, Grape Soda and Gatorade....and the magic of the Snack Shack started to sink in. He was helpful! So entranced by the atmosphere, he wanted to hang out and assist Mom! No running amok through the basketball court! No jumping off the top bleacher with an umbrella to see if he'd float (true story). Nope...just calm interest and a budding entrepreneurial spirit. Big Brother Sam was on the field, stretching his arm, to pitch to some pretty intimidating 4th graders.
After warming the grill, we decided to get serious and throw on a few burgers and dogs.
My friend, Rae, was in on this business venture with me, and we were determined to be the Best Snack Shack Moms Ever. We weren't going to make anyone wait - even a second - for their tasty treats...no way! We would cook those burgers, wrap those burgers in foil and sell those burgers! Yes!
The smell of processed meat began to waft over the field.
I worked the cash box as Rae moved into the job of Top Chef.
Cook it and they will come.
A line! Customers! Right off the bat, orders were plentiful.
"2 dogs and a burger, Rae, add a little cheese," I yelled, feeling good, like this was my calling.
"2 dogs and a burger, with a little cheese, comin' up," she sang back. I could see her flipping like crazy through a haze of smoke. We felt like Alice and Flo in that infamous diner.
But, it wasn't just "playing restaurant" that was fun.
"What a great shirt, Sir. It's most definitely your color!"
"Are you a Red Sox Man or a Yankees Fan?"
"Wow, Kid! You've got an appetitie! You're our best customer! What'll it be this time?"
"Didn't your son go to that great summer camp with my guys?"
Working the Snack Shack proved to be a great way to check-in with my community, make some friends and spread the love. Also, I was impressed. Diminutive in size, maybe, but this small food emporium is really well run. Spotless and stocked. Directions, very clear. Money raised through the shack pays the dedicated umpires and supports our fabulous Little League. It was nice to be part of this effort.
And frankly, it's good for us moms to let our guards down every now and then.
For once, I wasn't freaking out about sugar-intake or the daily requirement of fruits and veggies.
"Can I have another hot dog, Mom?" "Yup." "A root beer?" "OK." "A fifth ice pop? This time red?" "Why not?"
Who was I? When did I become this relaxed, devil-may-care, junk food distributor? Who knows and who cares? It's all good, Man.
Anything goes at the Snack Shack.