Happy President’s Day! (What are we celebrating again?)

Happy President’s Day Everybody!  It is Presidents Day, isn’t it?  If you are like me, you never know for sure because back in the olden days when we were in elementary school, on the calendar there was both George Washington’s birthday and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and we did in fact celebrate them separately.  Then I think because they were so close together the calendar/national holiday deciders just rolled them into one.

I’ve never checked to see who the deciders are, but as the kindergartener would say “it might be Obama” because Obama and the school principal are the only authority figures he is aware of.  (And yes he should be aware of me being in that category as well, but unfortunately, no.  He is not.  Obama gets the bad guys on the street, Mr. Cadotte gets the ones at school, and if you’re bad at home, the only real concern is “Are you going to call the Principal?”)

Also, you would be amazed how very little understanding kindergarteners actually have about anything.  You will just be going along using phrases like “national holiday” and at some point you realize five-year-olds, who mostly hang out with other people who are five, don’t have a lot of occasion to use words like “national debt” or “national healthcare crisis” or “national anthem.”  And they for sure don’t know what the word “anthem” actually means, even though the smarter ones will try to define it as Star Spangled Banner.

So when you explain the word, you might say “National.  Like nation.  Our nation.  Our country.  All the states.” And on the outside you sound like you know what you’re talking about, but in your head you’re thinking huh, what the heck is nation?  I mean, of course I know what it means, but like is Mexico a nation?  And what is the difference between federal holiday and national holiday? Thank god for Google, but I only use that for looking up interesting words like trousseau and wikipedialite, but not boring ones like national.

I’m totally getting sidetracked again aren’t I.  Back to Presidents Day.  I was going to say that the only reason we ever cared about Presidents Day or Washington’s Birthday or whatever the calendar was calling it was “Yay!  No school today!”  I think if there was school we probably did some little craft involving a tall black hat for Mr. Lincoln and a cherry tree and axe for Washington. Do I have that right?  Now I’m confusing myself because I know it was Lincoln who could not tell a lie, but wasn’t it Washington with the cherry tree?  I can distinctly feel some sort of craft with Washington’s silhouette (thank you auto correct, sometimes you really piss me off but in this instance you were super helpful!) and a cherry tree.  But not an axe.  Hmmm.  Well, perhaps I’ve uncovered the real reason we don’t celebrate them separately anymore.

So, when you hear President’s Day, don’t most people think just Washington and Lincoln?  Or are we supposed to also be thinking of others?  Is it because they are the stand out ones, or just because their birthdays were so close?  Certainly there were other February birthdays among some of those early presidents.  And if you have a hunch that I can’t name many of the fourteen Presidents in between those two, you would be correct.  But at least I knew there were 14, because, a) I do recall my mother singing “Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president . . .” Frequently. And always preceded by the words “don’t you remember the song?” So apparently I was already showing signs of not knowing basic American facts from an early age.  And it’s not like she was one to correct.  My dad was the corrector.  Especially of grammar.  Good luck getting to the end of a sentence with him around.  Me and her (deep interrupting voice: she and I) are going to the mall.  The teacher gave it to he and I (deep voice: him and me).  And (we almost forgot about b!), b) because I can do basic math 16-2=14.  Wow.  Get the hell back on topic.


Remember how I was talking about the time warp thing in the blogosphere?  Here it is 8:17 am on Presidents ’ Day, for real, right when I’m typing this sentence.  Now.  Right now.  So I haven’t actually written this post yet, but if I had just traveled back in time, to say yesterday, and written this post then, I could have come back to this moment and hit “publish” and we’d all be in the same time zone again.

But how could I have done that?  I don’t really know how to time travel.  But, someone pointed out that I could in fact pretend I’m time travelling by waking up one day and saying to myself “pretend it’s President’s Day, now write about that, spend two days editing it and then when Presidents Day arrives (or perhaps it already exists out there somewhere and it’s more like you will arrive to that space or point or whatever it is in the universe) you will simply have to hit “publish,” and you’ll be all caught up and on time.  And you would feel that illusive feeling called “ahead of the game.”

To which I say, impossible, because I can’t just pretend it’s a day that it’s not.  How will I know how I am actually going to feel on the morning of the real Presidents Day?  I can’t predict that. Doing a timely blog post about Presidents ’ Day is not really that important in the whole big scheme of things, but there are sometimes things that happen in real life that require you to project yourself into the future.  Like what does future me want to do next Friday night/eat for dinner tomorrow/accomplish with my life? I seemingly can’t predict these things either, which is why I am bad at RSVP’ing to evites, grocery shopping, and setting life goals.

And sometimes even answering my phone!  Cause I think “I don’t feel like talking to anyone right now” so I don’t pick up and then little do I know, my 30-seconds-into-the-future self would have actually LOVED talking to you and would have said Yes, let’s totally meet for lunch today!, but my past self didn’t pick up the phone.  (Loser!  Next time pick up!)  And then the next time (you already know what I’m going to say) it’s like amnesia sets in and you do the same thing over again.  But in this case, I genuinely think admitting I have a problem picking up my phone is the first step, and now I can begin to tackle the problem.  I am going to be better about keeping my phone nearby and actually pick it up when it vibrates.  Or maybe even set it to ring out loud in case I have to walk away from the computer for a second so I can still hear it.  I have set an intention.

The good thing about it being President’s Day is that now we can be all done talking about Valentine’s Day.  It was fun, the craft, the pipe cleaner guy, the giving of the valentine drama, but it is time to move on.  You might be thinking please can we just make some more crafts, maybe putting your kids’ heads on the presidents body, you said this was a craft blog, but no, we already did that.  We’re all done with that.  I’m mainly saying this as a public service announcement to myself:

♥♥We are all done with Valentine’s Day.♥♥

Please, can we just make a couple of pipe cleaner guys?  That was so much fun. Please, please, please? You are asking with those big puppy dog eyes, and I still have to tell you no.  All done.  All done with the pipe cleaners.  All done.   No more.  Go lie down.  (And if you sense I am both the puppy and the owner in this scenario, you would be correct.)

Lots o' special calendar days.  Not all of them school release days, thankfully.

Lots o’ special calendar days. Not all of them school release days, thankfully.

The other reason I had to ask “It is Presidents Day isn’t it?”  is because we have so many school release days around this time of year.  It could be a conference day or it could be a teachers’ record keeping day, or it could be completely random.  The important thing to remember is that you are now the grown up, so Yay!  No school! has turned into “Oh that’s right.  No school.  Honey, you have work today, right?  Crap.  Well, Dad will be at work, so what should we do today?  Something fun?”  I don’t recall my mom rearranging her day to entertain us on school release days (only we called them in-service days when they weren’t a national holiday)  because it was a different time, but now, for better or worse I will be thinking of what to do today and setting aside my own stuff.  Unless the kindergartener is given the ipad to search YouTube for “Monkees” and “Superfriends Justice League” and “The Byrds” and the second grader is given free access to Club Penguin, which they have been doing for—oh my goodness!! 1 hour and 30 minutes!!  (Also, spookily enough, e-x-a-c-t-l-y 90 minutes because it is 9:42 am.) What the heck happened?

So, long post just to say, sorry I can’t do a very good post today, and there are no fun pictures, although you should totally go and do that craft that is posted at the top, because doesn’t it look fun?  You could even tape your kids school photos onto the coins!  But once we are done with these holiday posts, we can be on two- or three-day delay again, and then they will be more concise and on-topic like the first one.  But I just wanted to say → Happy President’s Day!← on time, and does anyone want to come over for a play date?  We’re here.  All day.  All day.  Nothing going on. I’m standing by my cell phone, waiting for your call . . . And you have my email.  Thanks.


7 thoughts on “Happy President’s Day! (What are we celebrating again?)

  1. Excellent post, and brilliant use of the word “illusive”! OK, I’m going through your Mpls School calendar of “Special Days” and I really think it’s awesome you celebrate the day Benjamin Banneker died (Oct. 9). Yeah… I had to google him, too.

    • Can you please be my editor/spell checker? Elusive. Maybe illusive isn’t even a real word. I also have total inconsistent use of apostrophes throughout, but I was trying to hurry. Because the 2nd grader is still on Club Penguin. I also made a math error that I just caught (42-17=25 not 30). But you can kind of see how I made that mistake, if you are one of those people who has to visualize a clock with hands on it in order to know what half an hour would be . . .

  2. Bravo. Another fine installment. A real “page turner” (or whatever the equivalent is for a blog). I could have sworn it was Washington who was the “I cannot tell a lie” guy, cuz wasn’t that his response when asked who chopped down the cherry tree. Facts like that can be ellusive. Anyway, great job. Looking forward to the next installment, as I’m sure you’re kids are cuz that’s the time they get to play on the computers and iPads! That’s how my son decides if he’s up for something: “Will I get to play on the iPad while you guys are doing that?” Over and out.

  3. Look, even though I am single and have no children and virtually no responsibility, I usually can’t be bothered with any hiccups in my daily routine. Then this blog comes along, and suddenly I have to rearrange my schedule and be entertained each day. Hiccup.

    By the way, as we approach the sacred Frederick Douglass Day observance, let us remember:that Frederick Douglass sought to embody three keys for success in life:

    Believe in yourself.
    Take advantage of every opportunity.
    Use the power of spoken and written language to effect positive change for yourself and society.

    Sounds a lot like my friend Allyson at the moment 😉

    • Wow. Excellent comment. What’s your blog called and can I follow it too? I’ll have to look into this Freddy D. character. Perhaps Allyson will cover that more in her next installment.

      • Thank you for the nudge/reminder. I will get right on it! After I google him, but Leif might have already hit all the highlights. We shall see. . .

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