Oklahoma City family fun is what's on the calendar this Labor Day.
Labor Day is a concept that's favorable to families: it's a Monday off. Not worrying about work or school schedules frees families up to have fun together.
A Monday off is something to look forward to, a break in routine.
As a parent who reads parenting blogs, articles and research, the one topic I can never find anything novel on is how exactly to get everyone out of the house each morning.
That morning process has a lot of variables and I have scanned more "Day in the life" articles for tips and tricks than I can possibly remember in the past eight years since becoming a parent. My children have grown and one son is now three sons but the improvements made are marginal. Sure, I can do it, but there has to be an easier way. I look for new advice every year, especially at the beginning of the school year with its implied changes. I'm not hearing anything I haven't heard before. Even the most confident expert voices seem to pause and shrug when it comes to morning routines with their traffic and egg yolk and the possibility of forgetting countless items.
"A good day begins the night before," each blogger, author, researcher concludes. I dutifully program the coffee maker, set the table, round up socks and shoes along with school clothes, work clothes, baby clothes. Cell phone charger? Check. Garage door opener? Check. Backpacks? Check, check. My car keys are the cherry on top. Everything is prepared. I lie awake and watch the minutes pass, get up earlier, go to bed later. Eyes on the clock, I squeeze small hands and buckle all three safety seats.
The result to all that forethought and the daily up, down, turn around choreography is a good morning four days out of five. Sometimes the waffles burn; one day, my toddler put dominoes in the toaster. We've managed and there were no tardies last school year.
Not having to think about it, though, for one day is something to celebrate. Labor Day is a good day because everyone needs a day off.
We've all heard the working mom vs. stay-at-home mom debates but this holiday has nothing to do with that topic.
Some women are foster moms, adoptive moms, grandmas in the role of mom again and did not go through labor in the other sense of the word.
All of us do, however, labor, work, struggle, toil, expend effort on a child's behalf. That is what makes us parents or caretakers.
Whether you work outside the home or don't, went through a physical process to have a child or didn't, this day is the perfect time to connect with a child in your life.
Stay with me here. I'm not going to get all after-school special about the importance of spending time with kids. You already know that because you're reading this blog.
What I do want to say is this: enjoy the day. We host Thanksgiving, stage Christmas, make every birthday count as we watch others blow out the candles. This isn't one of those, well, labor-intensive days.
Stay true to the spirit of the holiday this Labor Day and focus on having a good time instead of making one for everyone else.
If you do want to plan ahead, find MetroFamily's Labor Day Family Fun Guide here.
Happy Labor Day!