Admit it, you've been laying around since Friday, taking advantage of your long Labor Day weekend without thinking, even once about the true meaning of the holiday. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
Labor Day was established by the U.S. Congress in a unanimous vote after years of serious arm twisting by a spunky little woman named Mabel Dangerfield*. Mabel was the proud but harried mother of 16 children and having experiencing painful labor pains on 16 different occasions, she figured the country owed her something; flags should be flown, blowout sales should be had at hardware stores, mail should come to a screeching halt, and kids should get a break from school. Apparently Mabel didn't really think through the school holiday part, because the last thing she needed was 16 kids out of school preventing her from watching One Life to Live while she ironed. Unfortunately, by the time she realized this fatal flaw it was too late, because the school teacher lobby was not giving up their opportunity to shop the Labor Day blowout sales and not have to open their mail.
You might be sensing at this point, dear reader, that I am somewhat of an expert on Labor Day. Bingo. As the Mother of 5 stunning children, I have experienced 5 stunning bouts of labor.
Two of our children fantastically good looking children were produced by heroic women who went through the pains of labor and then gave their sweet little babies to us to raise. My deepest Labor Day salutes go to all you brave women who allow your bodies to suffer all the pains, discomfort and indignities of pregnancy, the agony and risk of childbirth and then give your hard won gift away.
The first labor I personally experienced came on Labor Day 22 years ago. I was in a hippie phase and went for "natural" childbirth. Although I focused on a happy place, counted and breathed my guts out, the birth of my little boy was oh so unnaturally painful. What in the heck? Have people really been having babies like this for thousands of years? Sheesh, this is a seriously flawed system.
My next labor ended in a C-section. The "C" in C-section stands for the Latin word crap. As in "Crap, I can't believe I just let someone slice open my stomach, scoop out my baby and then go at me with a staple gun." Fortunately, he is so cute I may someday still forgive him for the smile scar under my fabulously muscular lower six-pack
The labor of my fifth child started with a drip. A drop of innocent looking colorless liquid hit my vein and suddenly labor was a freight train steaming down the tracks with me supplying the screaming train whistle. There was no time for epimerciful numbing, just a little girl who efficiently poked her head out and said hello after an hour and a half of pounding on the door.
On Friday. our daughter-in-law just produced a #3 quality grandchild after a screeching ride to the hospital, careening down the hall and a doctorless birth. It took her less than an hour. I think she's trying to make us all look bad.
So listen up America, after you sleep in, watch a little TV, stretch, scratch and grill a hot dog, take some time to think about and thank the women who labor, who have labored, and who will yet labor to produce wonderful people like you.
*Okay, if you insist on the boring real story of Labor Day, go here
2 hours ago