Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day and Hurricane News

So Hurricane Gustav didn't hit New Orleans directly....that's good. Watching the news tonight, I heard several people say that New Orleans had "dodged a bullet." That's a metaphor I've always disliked, mostly because, here in Chicago, when one person dodges a bullet, it seems like someone else is right there to get hurt (or killed) in that person's place. So I was interested in hearing how the news folks talked about the areas that are feeling the worst of the storm. While I was thinking about this, Elliot and I came across a very relevant story from The Onion :

Hurricane Bound For Texas Slowed By Large Land Mass To The South

Elliot was tickled by this story because of his friendships with people from Mexico (his best friend, Atzin, is Latino, as are most of his teachers); he is appalled by how little most adults (never mind other kids) know about Mexican culture and geography. (I suppose I'm sometimes included there....) It's fun to watch or read The Onion with Elliot because he *really* gets satire, but I also sort of wish that he wasn't so completely familiar with the many wrongheaded and hurtful U.S. blind spots that provide them with their material.

Now onto a more pleasant subject: Labor Day. Labor Day is one of my favorite holidays--I do generally try to relax, because the day *after* Labor Day usually marks the beginning of my semester. Today I ended up doing yard work for about 90 minutes, so it wasn't all rest. Once evening rolled around and there was shade on our sidewalk, all four of us (plus Anaya, our eight-year-old nextdoor neighbor, and her mother) headed out to make our annual sidewalk chalk mural honoring workers. I'm too tired right now to post the pictures we took after we were done drawing--but I can say that, in the nine years we've been doing these murals, this one is one of our best. Some of the workers we depicted include a farmer, chef, street juggler, roofer, home health aide, botanist, and sales associate. (We did the sales associate because just as we were almost done with our drawings, a tired but cheerful woman came walking down our block. I told her what we were doing, and she said that she was just getting off her shift as a sales associate at American Girl Place. I told her we'd include her in the drawing--she probably thought I was nuts, but I kept my word. If she walks down our block on her way to work tomorrow, she'll see herself!)

Our Labor Day mural is one of our family's happiest (and simplest) traditions. More than taking them to a parade or barbecue (not that there's anything wrong with those--we went to a barbecue today), I think this tradition helps them understand what Labor Day is for, why it matters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You guys are so great! I can't wait to see the photos.