“What is a good time for me to come pick up my people?”
My dear friend was dropping her kids off to play with mine while she took care of some things at work. And it was great for me too – I could get some things done around the house besides snack making and fight-refereeing with my girls having friends over.
She asked the question about a good time to pick up and it took me a minute to answer, because I was still loving on her term of endearment.
My people. It sums it up, doesn’t it? I thought of mine – Joe, of course, and these two people who once took up rent-free space in my abdomen.
But since that day last summer, I’ve decided that “my people” is more than my family of four. It’s really more like the size of a football team. (I don’t actually know how many people are on a football team, but when I see the games on TV, it looks like there are enough players on the side of the field to populate a small town.)
My gratitude for this is immense.
You may be in this group and not even know it. Some of the people I don’t even actually know. Weird, I know, but true.
Like the man working at the car wash who gave a dirty look to the woman who blatantly sped up and cut me off to get in line in front of me. When I did make it to the entry of the car wash to pay, he told me he didn’t pre-wash the back of her car in honor of me. See. One of my people.
The woman who told me in line at Starbucks that if I order an iced coffee with vanilla, leave room, instead of my latte, and just pour the milk in myself at the bar, I would save myself two dollars per coffee. That amount multiplied by the number of times I go to Starbucks with compound interest = hello, kids being able to go to college. One of my people.
And then there are the obvious ones. The friend who noticed that my busy schedule left much to be desired in my nutritional intake, who then shows up at my house with lentil soup and warm bread for lunch. And even better, a huge hug.
The friend who always seems to text me at the perfect time, when I’ve had not the best day, just to say I am thinking about you and I love you. And I’m in front of you in the school pick up line, looking at you in my rear-view mirror. Love her.
My long distance friend who knows I am awful at keeping in touch, yet when we talk, we pick up like not a day has passed. My person.
The friend whose daughter agreed to spend the night at our house after returning home from Disney World, so her amazing mother could have some time to rest and recoup. Because Disney, although wonderful, does not send us home ready to tackle the world.
And that same friend who came to get her person the next day and said, “Let me take your girls to the movies so you can finish painting and move in to your home.”
Someone said something to me the other day and it has stayed with me. “God made us to be in relationship with each other.”
We are all each other’s people, really.
Mom at Kroger, who I see trying to hold it together long enough to just get bread while her children scream bloody murder – you are my person.
Woman at church, who reminds me of a great aunt, who asks me to guide her to her seat after communion because, as she says “I don’t know where to go,” – you are my person. Girl who sits with her at church, with the Home Instead name tag, who is probably the reason this woman can come to church – you are my person, too.
Maddie currently is in the middle of her soccer season. She loves it and has made some of her best friends on the soccer fields. Having said this, there is one player on another team that she had singled out as not her favorite player. This player is fast, she is aggressive, and she is good.
Last Monday’s practice was smaller than normal due to our fall break and families traveling. Because of this, all of the teams combined and practiced together. Nearing the end of practice, the girls were divided into two teams for scrimmage. During this scrimmage, Maddie and “the pushy girl” (not my words, but I’m going with it) were on the same team. As I was mentally preparing myself to hear about it in the car on the way home, I saw something unexpected. I saw Maddie pass the ball to “pushy girl”, who then centered it back to Maddie for the goal. And then…high five each other. They high-five’d. The girl who Maddie had singled-out as “not my favorite” was now celebrating with her.
As Maddie ran over to me after collecting her water bottle and bag after practice, I smiled and looked at her. She returned the smile and then said, like she could read my mind, “I hope she and I are on the same team next year.”
We are all in this together, doing life together. Let’s just be each other’s people.
And lady who cut me off in line at the car wash, if you’re reading this, you’re my person, too. I’ve been in a hurry with a dirty car before. Let’s just be each other’s people with clean cars. I’ll happily let you cut in front of me anytime.