Slouching Toward Labor Day

Sep 04, 2017
John Daly

Labor Day traditionally marks the end of summer. I, for one, am not quite ready to say goodbye to the sights and sounds of the baseball games, backyard cookouts, and camping trips I’ve enjoyed under the watchful eye of the hot summer sun. I know, I know. The kids are settling back into the routine of school while the retailers around here are ramping up for Halloween. Still, a part of me is in no hurry to close the books on summer. Why?
I’m a grateful man. Grateful to God for the gift of unwinding at the beach with my family, for the Harley Ride with friends, for the chance to watch a NASCAR race from the field, and to take in a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. I’m even thankful for that camping trip with the bears. I guess reflections such as these are part of what it means to count my blessings.
While I’m in a reflective mood, another highlight from this summer was taking Trent and Troy to their first big league baseball game. We started the day at the Water World–a super-sized water park. After hours of slipping and sliding and being drenched to the bone, the three Daly men continued the fun at a Rockies game. Decked out in full Rockies gear, the boys were beside themselves with joy as we headed to the stadium.
The game was about as exciting as they come. The Rockies were down 3-0 in the fourth inning. In the fifth, the Rockies scored two runs, and then went on to tie the game at 3-3. In the sixth, they homered with a man on base taking the lead 5-3. While rooting for the Rockies at the top of their lungs, we feasted on hot dogs, hamburgers, cotton candy (hope Jean isn’t reading this!) and cold drinks.
Even though we were perched in perfect foul ball seats–just ten rows off the third base bag–no foul balls came our way. That didn’t seem to bother Troy who, instead, kept asking about the whereabouts of the cotton candy man. All that mattered to Troy was munching on a second serving of that delicious poison. When the candy man failed to return, I told Troy that it might be best for the cotton candy man to go home and be with his family. He looked at me with a puzzled look before exclaiming, “What a great idea! I don’t have to have any more cotton candy.”
Moments like that are priceless to this dad.
One more thought as summer draws to a close. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s easy–if not fashionable–to focus on what’s wrong with our lives, our marriages, our kids, our jobs, and our country. I’m not exactly sure why we go there with our thoughts and emotional energy. Frankly, while tempting, I don’t find that sort of thing constructive. It seems to me that the antidote to complaining is giving thanks.
Which is why this Labor Day weekend I plan to remind myself and my family of the many things we have to be thankful for this summer.

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