No, even though my Mom kept saying this was the truth, today doesn’t have anything to do with how long our various mothers labored to bring us into this world.
Instead, Labor Day is a day set aside to allow us to labor over a grilling fire one last time before summer ends, to give us one more day at the lake, one more time out in the heat of the backyard with the sprinklers flashing rainbows into the sunny sky.
Or, you know, not.
It could be that Labor Day originally was founded to celebrate the working man (and he was, for the most part, a man back then), who sweated his day away on the assembly line, or out in the hot streets, laying down the roadway the white-collar workers used to drive in to their cushy jobs in the city with their fancypants air conditioning.
Labor Day was designed to honor those who actually produced an actual thing, instead of giving us a service. The people honored by Labor Day were singled out for a number of reasons: 1) to say thanks for helping build this country on their metaphorical, economic backs and 2) labor unions used to have a lot more members, a lot more money and a lot more pull so they could get something like this put on the national calendar with relative ease.
What? It’s true.
Since it’s founding, many folks have tried to usurp Labor Day’s reasons for celebrating. (Hello, Mom, wherever you are!) A lot of folks these days think it’s a celebration of the dwindling few who actually are able to find, get and keep a job for longer than a quarter or two. And a job with bennies? Dude! That’s something to celebrate.
Regardless of the reasoning behind Labor Day, I do enjoy one last fling at summer. I’ll be using the day off to relax in the backyard, crawl under some shade and spray an appalling amount of bug spray at anything that so much as twitches a blood-thirsty proboscis in my general direction.
We all have our own ways of celebrating. That’s mine.