Ah, Labor Day! A beautiful September day off to kick back, relax and rest from work! Unless you’re a fire family, of course.
That’s right. This morning FireDad still had to wake up at 5:55. At which point he pressed snooze and I elbowed him in the back the next time his alarm went off. He got up, got dressed, kissed me and headed off to the fire station where he will remain for a full 24 hours. There are no days off in fire service for which the general public should be grateful, of course.
It’s not that I’m not grateful for all of the hard-working citizens who are enjoying their day off today. I come in contact with a wide range of those people on a daily basis and I am thankful for the hard work that they do, day in and day out, to make my life easier. Examples include the teachers at BigBrother’s school (I’m not cut out for homeschooling, though I love teaching them things, and for that I am grateful someone can put up with not only my noisy preschooler but fourteen others), the employees at the bank (they deposit my money so I don’t lose it), the mail delivery people (we have more than one so I had to say people and, plus, they bring me lovely things, more than just bills, so I adore the heck out of them!), the library employees (gosh, we love our library) and so on. The list really goes on. And on. And on.
I’m also grateful for the people who don’t get to have today off, my husband included. The employees at the stores we choose to visit aren’t likely all off today. Management might be but they’re still working, however grumpily. I am thankful that if I run out of milk, I can visit at least three places that are open today, not counting gas stations. I am thankful for our police officers who will hopefully have an easy day. I am thankful for those dentists and doctors who chose not to take today off knowing that their patients could easily schedule appointments on their own day off. I am thankful for those who work at news (television and radio both) stations, another 24/7/365 job, to keep those who are at home entertained and informed today (especially because that used to be me!).
I don’t really get to kick up my feet today. Not only is FireDad at work, leaving me to parent both boys by myself for 24 hours, but I’ve got some (minor) work that needs completed today. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not complaining. I am so grateful for a job (or, really, series of jobs) that allow(s) me to stay home. We’re very grateful that FireDad gets to go to the fire station every third day. We’re grateful for our jobs as far, far too many people have today off not by choice but by lack of employment. My heart goes out to those individuals today who are using today to work on their resumes, send out emails and generally hope and pray that the phone rings first thing in the morning.
Labor Day may just be another day off to you. For me today it’s a reminder of how many people make our day-to-day lives possible. It’s a reminder of the current issues our nation faces with regard to unemployment rates and the faltering economy. It’s a reminder of how blessed our family is, working today or not, to have the jobs that we do. It’s a reminder that those who don turnout gear and work 24 hours at a time, holidays be darned, will arrive at your Labor Day barbecue to put out a fire and save lives even though they’re missing their own family picnics.
Labor Day might be another “blow off” holiday to some but we’re grateful today.
(And if your kids are already bored with television, consider taking today to teach them a bit about Labor Day. Or bake and take cookies to the fire department, police station or other place of employment where people are still working to provide you with services or goods. That would be a good lesson to teach the kids on this “day off,” don’t you think?)