The Meaning of Labor Day

On the way to church yesterday, our family was admiring the perfect weather. It's summer's last hurrah, all blue skies and warm water and green grass and cool breezes.

"And it's a good thing," I said, looking in my rearview mirror. "Because tomorrow is Labor Day, and the day after that...."

"Schools starts," Natalie chimed in. "We know."

"But first we have tomorrow," said Corey, "with homemade donuts in the morning (a Labor Day tradition in our family) and a full-day spent on the water in the boat with our friends."

"Do you know why it's called Labor Day?" I asked the back half of the minivan.

Hearing no reply, I said, "It's to honor mothers everywhere, since they have to work hard in order for babies to be born. That's called labor, so tomorrow is Labor Day because of it."

Corey snorted. "No, it's really called Labor Day in honor of dads, who have to go to work every day to support their families."

Natalie, increasingly skeptical, said, "It's not either of those things. I know it's because kids have to go back to school the day after Labor Day, and we are the ones who really have to work hard. So it's called Labor Day because of us."

Turns out, there's a Kids Day after all.


  1. Out of the mouth of babes. . . .!

    I like your definition, especially since after 28 hours of labor I had my first child on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend in 1993!!

    (BTW, there is an International Children's Day. My missionary sister loves to tell kids in the US about this when she speaks. I believe it's June 1, and parents generally spend time with their child - go to the park, get an ice cream cone, etc. Obviously created and celebrated in countries where the world does not revolve around kids on a daily basis!!

  2. My mother gave birth to me on Labor Day, and so of course your definition makes the most sense. Isn't childbirth the labor by which all other labor is defined?

  3. So funny! I spent the Friday before Labor Day last year in labor with my 2nd born! Needless to say I like your definition the best!

  4. Before children Labor Day meant a three day weekend, which is one of the greatest things on the planet. Now, I have children and I am currently not working, however my children are not school aged, so it now means just one more regular weekend-day which includes busy house projects and more fun activities too. Fun activities include the word busy. And busy that lead to labor. That's what Labor Day means to me this year. Happy Tuesday everyone.

  5. That definition of Labor Day doesn't work here, unfortunately. Kids were back in school weeks ago!

    I like your definition.

  6. So cute! I need to remember that mom-labor connection for next year and see if my family buys it!