In the US, Labor Day is the first Monday in September. It is also considered the last “official” day of summer by schoolchildren and most adults because, not only is it the third day of a three-day weekend, but also the first day of the school year usually starts some time during the week of Labor Day.
Labor Day, therefore, is the Last Hurrah of summer vacation. Many families I know take this opportunity to go away for the weekend. In my hometown, that usually means the Jersey shore. For me, when I was growing up, if we weren’t at the shore, I would spend the entire weekend in my parents’ swimming pool.
Of course, that’s where I would usually be for the rest of the summer anyway. In the morning, I’d wake up, eat breakfast, then get into the pool. Around noon, I’d get out of the pool, eat lunch, then jump back in the pool. Then, I’d get out for dinner, then jump back in the pool. Finally, I’d get out of the pool, shower, put on my pajamas, and go to bed.
Now that I’ve grown up, got married, and have children of my own, Labor Day means something different. My wife’s job and mine don’t often afford us the time to vacation. But, what we have been doing, fairly consistently, for the last several years is have a relaxing family day. I like to fire up the grill and put on some burgers, hot dogs, steaks, or whatever. I like to grill anything that will go over the charcoal, especially since I have all day to do it. We also do other things around the house, like put away picnic tables, chairs, the little pool, and other summer items that won’t really be used any more.
But, largely, the best part about days like these, for me at least, is having a chance to spend the day with my wife and daughters.
How about you? Did you have any Labor Day traditions growing up? Are your traditions different now?