Sunday, September 04, 2011

Labor Day's, Past and Present

In 2011, it seems to be all about sports.  Pennant races, college football (Lets's Go Blue!), pro football and now some abomination called fantasy football.

I remember when Labor Day was a holiday, celebrated without shopping or watching sports on TV. Memories of a schoolboy in Detroit, when school always began on the Wednesday after Labor Day.  The final weekend of summer vacation, overshadowed by the realization of the loss of summer's freedoms, the most precious of which was sleeping-in.  But come Wednesday, the excitement of a new grade, new classes, new teachers and the reunion with our non-summer friends quickly overcame the mourning.  Everything was fresh and our prospects unlimited.  New beginnings, new faces, new crushes and the new dreams. We were as invincible as the days and weeks that followed. Or at least we thought so.

Then came kids.  In the South, where I spent all of those parenting days, school started in mid-to-late August, so Labor Day rained in as a lost Monday. Kids were home and bored. Parents were called upon once again to pick up the slack. Somehow it was easier, knowing that it was only one more day and in a way, a special one to us as the last family day of summer. Now, so many years later, I miss those Labor Days. It just took awhile to notice they weren't kids anymore.

Labor day at the beach, on Kiawah, was the most special Labor Day of all. Everything changed starting with the mass exodus of the tourists. The sun was a little less hot and evenings were filled again with quiet, surrounded by a magical sweet bouquet of low country charm. With just us full time residents back at the helm, the sense of community came back with greetings and smiles. The names and faces at the general store, pumping gasoline and buying overpriced milk, bread and the 50% off t-shirts, came back with comfortable familiarity. We had our beloved island back. It was Labor Day that deserved and got our enduring appreciation for what a special Monday in September it was....and will forever be.


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