There are some holidays you can remember for months, even years afterwards. Then there are others that seem more like normal days and within a couple of weeks you’ve forgotten exactly what transpired. For me Labor Day falls in the latter category, generally a very forgettable day.
To this day, thirty-eight years and counting, I still remember a good deal of what occurred the morning of Monday, September 3, 1979.
I can remember my bedroom. It was so pink. Pink walls, pink dresser, pink carpet. I even had a pink bedspread. I’ve always assumed the total pink color of the room is why I didn’t have to share with anyone. At the time I had two brothers, and though the youngest probably didn’t care, he was sharing with his older brother. I can guarantee our oldest brother wasn’t going to sleep in a pink room.
As for my two sisters, well neither one of them have ever liked pink. So yeah, I had the luxury of a whole room to myself for the first time in my life. I even had a nice big full sized bed to myself. (My siblings all had single sized beds, and roommates.)
So on this particular morning I slowly came to realize the sun was peaking over the distant mountains. I looked up for a moment noting how the cloud cover turned everything into more hues of pink. I was appreciating the view and the thought came to me that I normally didn’t have time to see it because I was getting ready for school.
I very nearly jumped out of bed before I remembered it was a holiday. Sleepy me snuggled back down for some more sleep.
A few minutes later Dad appeared at my bedroom door. “Get up.”
“Why? There’s no school today.”
“To help Margo.”
“Help her with what?” Bear in mind that Dad was a pro at forcing us kids to do someone else’s chore because he thought he had the right kid doing it. I was not budging unless it really was my chore.
“Pack? Why? Where is she going?”
Well that did it. I bolted up telling Dad I was coming and he could leave so I could get dressed. I finally realized my stepmother, Margo, was in labor with her second child.
To this day I don’t understand why he didn’t just come right out and tell me what was happening and why she needed help. But I also find it funny that I went from groggy still snuggled in bed to wide awake in a split second when it finally hit me.
And I did go downstairs to help her, though I don’t remember what exactly I did to help. Most women are smart enough to pack go bags well in advance so all I can think of was I gathered a few last minute items for her then helped Dad get her to the car.
It was much later, after we got to see our newest little brother that Margo told us about the funniest part of the day. You see she delivered in the same tiny hospital she worked in. Her co-workers were snickering clear through her labor about her being in labor on Labor Day.
So for me our youngest brother’s appearance into the world is a day I’ve never forgotten.
Then about nine and half months later the little squirt made Father’s Day memorable by walking, for the first time, clear across a country kitchen and into Dad’s arms. Made Dad’s day.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.