Itâ€™s Labor Day, which should inspire me to either celebrate the working peoples of the world, or the birthing peoples, or the work of the birthing peoples. But I think Barbara Ehrenreich and MomsRising would do a better job of that. And really Iâ€™m thinking more about the other implications of Labor Day: the end of summer, and the start of the school year(s). Our daughterâ€™s first day of pre-school is just around the corner, and with it come her first steps into community, a sort of gentle little public space, without us. We daily shrug off the typical pre-pre-school parental jitters, knowing that itâ€™s highly likely sheâ€™ll thrive there. Because of who she is and in spite of who we are. Also, because of who we are and in spite of who she is.
Sheâ€™s had a wee taste of community outside our family and friendship networks. She was in an at-home day care for a while, but she was very young then. Many of the other kids barely had a dozen vocabulary words at their disposal; the make-up of peopleâ€™s families seemed more or less lost on them. It helped, too, that the guy who ran it was a Latino Paul Lynde, more fey than our kidsâ€™ Grandpappy, which is an accomplishment. Now, more than a year later, she knows enough words to fake her way past an oral exit exam for elementary school. And she certainly knows about family.