by Kitty Michelotti
Have you ever lost your wallet? You know that sickening feeling when you first realize it's really gone and you panic? Magnify that by and 100 you might understand how my two year old, Morgan, felt when he realized his favorite bag of trucks was not in our car when we returned home from the Porcupine Freedom Festival this summer. For toddlers, the only reality they know is what's happening right now, and right now his trucks were gone!
PorcFest is my family's favorite week of the year. My husband and I love hearing the speakers, and being among like-minded, freedom-loving folks. The kids enjoy a space where they can be respected, free to play, and have the opportunity to make money if they choose. We all love camping, chatting about libertarian principles around the campfire, and playing dodgeball!
This past summer was no exception - we enjoyed ourselves immensely, thanks in part to this magical bag of trucks that entertained my toddler while we listened to talks, helped out in PorcuPint Central, and hung out with new movers around the fire. My son even took this bag of trucks into his sleeping bag with him at night. It is a unique feeling to roll over onto a metal John Deere excavator in the middle of the night, let me tell you! There is not one place Morgan went all week where he was not carrying a handmade bag filled with his beloved trucks.
When my minivan had spewed its contents all over my driveway upon our return home, and Morgan's machines of mass construction were missing, we all went into panic mode. The two older brothers went through the car; Daddy and I dissected every bag, even the dirty laundry! It was all to no avail; the trucks were gone. If we had left them anywhere else, I would've broken down into tears right next to my toddler, but we forgot them at PorcFest, so all was not lost. With a voluntaryist community to reach out to, I knew the trucks were in good hands...I just didn't know whose.
Think back to losing your wallet. Imagine now that it's lost in your own home, and you have your family and best friends helping you to find it. It might take a while, but you know deep down that not only will you get it returned to you, but all your money, credit cards, and identity will be intact. That is the security we felt, and indeed on Morgan's third birthday I got the message that the trucks had been located by Porc Rangers! Granted it took me a while to go pick them up (I never claimed to be mother of the year), but they were safe and sound.
My children already enjoyed being a part of the freedom-loving community, but now they know on a personal level that they can count on their fellow porcupines to help them out when they need it. Thank You Chris, Edi, Mary, Heidi, Porc Rangers, and all you folks reading this. This community is incredible because of the individuals that make it up.