Today was a Monday morning like any other in my recent history. Internal, fiery debate over whether and when to wake up. Scrambling through laundry, dressing, breakfasting, packing lunches, and hustling out the door. The only difference I was planning for this Monday was that I would be dropping my son off first, since my daughter is doing "vacation camp" at school while all the nice parents take their kids somewhere warm and whimsical for April vacation. Vacation camp starts later than school, hence the reversal in drop-offs. I would be traversing the same 4-mile strip about 6 times over the course of 20 minutes, but hey, it's vacation for some people - let's live it up! Isn't Mami F-U-N!?!?
Imagine my surprise when I pulled into daycare and found.....nothing. Not a car in the parking lot. Not a human to be found. Not a breath of wind other than the exhaust from my car and the sputtering breath I heaved as I realized what was going on. Daycare was closed. It's Patriot's Day. Those asshats that I entrust with the care of my son can't be trusted with applying some perspective to their calendar.
This was mind-boggling to me on a number of levels. Let me put this in perspective for you.
When I first started working at a NYC law firm, the place I worked didn't even give us Martin Luther King day off. ("Off" in private practice is a relative term - they day may or may not be recognized as a holiday, but regardless, you probably still had to go into the office. It just meant maybe you were there for 8 hours instead of 12.) After a couple years of associate agitation, the firm changed course and decided that it, like the rest of America, would accord the day its due respect by adding it to the list of our paid holidays.
Now that I live in Maine, I'd been hearing grumblings about this thing called Patriot's Day, but they'd mostly gone something like this:
"Hey, Monday's Patriot's Day. So they're running the Boston Marathon."
Or like this:
"Excuse me, what in the hell is Patriot's Day?"
Actually, that second question is the one I asked myself once I arrived home, down one daughter (vacation camp! weeeeeee!), but up one son. He and I sat down at the computer and I taught him about Google. Together we learned that Patriot's Day is "celebrated" to recognize the battles at Lexington and Concord. We looked at each other and smiled. Ahhhh....the good old battles. They just don't fight 'em like they used to, do they son? Let me wedge you into the crook of my arm, shove a bottle into your mouth, and tell you all about the L&C Beatdowns so that you can understand why it is that your world and mine have been turned upside down this fine Monday morning.
Once upon a time....
Screw it. Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess named Snow White. Have you heard this one?
I have no idea what the story is behind Lexington and Concord other than that they're in Massachusetts and Louisa May Alcott's family lived in Concord during their hippie commune spell. Apparently whatever story there is hasn't really caught fire, as Google also told us that the only states in the union to recognize this day as a holiday are Massachusetts (okay)....and Maine. The holiday even leap-frogged over New Hampshire, and they have a liquor store as soon as you enter the state from any direction, so you'd assume they're always up for an excuse to take a knee on a Monday. But even THEY passed on Patriot's Day. Good old Maine is taking the whole "vacationland"moniker a bit too far in this instance, if you ask me. But lesson learned - I'm making a list of all the Canadian holidays so I can be prepared when our town goes into shut-down mode on Boxing Day or Canadian Thanksgiving.
The other aspect of this that fries my freckles is that one of the big attractions to having my son in daycare (as opposed to being with a nanny or fending for himself) is the notion of dependability. I didn't have to worry about someone showing up on time or getting car trouble or falling ill. Daycare was always there, always open. Except, apparently, on Patriot's Day. I'm a lawyer and I didn't read the damned fine print.
So here I am, "working from home." I don't want my kids to feel like they've missed out, so later on they're going to don their red, white and blue track-suits for their 26.2 miler, and then they're going to watch their dad and me duke it out with bayonets in the back-yard.
Wishing you all the happiest of Patriot's Days!