Out Collecting Our People

The Question

Driving down an isolated stretch of Rt 2 in North Dakota Evie said from the back, “Mommy, why are we always leaving people behind?”  I could hear the sadness in her voice. Scott held his breath.  

Heavy.  A lot rode on my answer.  Buckle up, Traci. It’s game time.  

The Answer

I began, “Oh Ev, I can see how it feels like that to you, Sweetheart.”  I wanted to make it clear to her that her feelings were valid and that I understood.

We had just spent a happy, relaxed 3 nights with Mimi and Bumpah.  The kids were immediately and irreversibly taken with them.  Anne and Rick have known Grandmom longer than I’ve been alive.  They were automatically inside the Circle of Trust, no questions asked.  Mimi and Bumpah know all the aunts and uncles and have pictures of fun vacations with familiar faces.  They also told great stories of Grandad.  The kids never tire of Grandad stories.  

Why we would leave Minnesota was a mystery to them, no matter how many times I explained it.

Going Deeper

Time to reframe the question.

“Here’s how I see it.  We aren’t leaving anyone behind because we know we’ll be spending time with them again down the road.  I look at it as collecting all of our people.  Some folks have a tribe based on where they live.  But what if all of your people don’t live in one place?   Daddy and I and you and Jack, we get to go out and find them, our people.  We get to see where they live and spend time in their lives with them.  That is why you have friends in Thailand and Maine and Colombia and Louisville and Duluth and so many other places.   Some of our kindred spirits even live on the road like us.  How would we find them if we didn’t go looking for them?”

I held my breath to see how she took that on board.  

Long pause.  Finally, she said thoughtfully, “I like that.”  Jack {from the back}, “Me too.”  Even Scott said, “Yeah… I do too. I like that a lot.  We’re collecting our people.  You should write a blog post about that.” 

So, for the record, that’s what we’re doing.  We’re just out collecting our people. If we come visit you, you’re one of our people. If we send you post cards and tell you we miss you, you’re one of our people. If we meet you and want to be Facebook buddies, you’re one of our people. And some day, we’ll make a point of seeing you again.

Like Bumpah, who is helping Scott add a new solar panel.
Double the power for double the price. Installed by Scott and Rick!
Writing notes and letters to our people.