Despite co-founding a parenting blog that is ever-so-slightly better than its peer blogs, I’ve never considered myself an expert on raising kids. Far from it, in fact, and I readily concede that there are reams of kiddie-related things of which I remain blissfully unaware.
For example, I’ve never watched “Yo Gabba Gabba!” (JP is a “Blues Clues” man). I let my kid eat peanut butter. I have kept JP, and intend to keep Ellie, current on their vaccinations. I have no policy whatsoever on self-esteem or imaginary guns. I have changed many diapers but have no strong opinions as to which brand one should use (which is probably why DadWagon has failed so miserably in the selling-out realm). I’m just me—a schmuck with two kids living the current version of the American Dream, which today seems to include financial deterioration, shaky employment in a dying field, the inability to do more than ten pull-ups, and a shitty apartment that is both dirtier than I approve of, smaller than I require, and more expensive than I care to admit.
All that is a suitably long-winded way of saying what the fuck is the Labyrinth Celebration? I first learned of it in a nice short essay (by which I mean it is nice and happens to be short, not that I feel that essays to be nice must be short) on the GQ Magazine website. It’s a passing reference in an amusing story about a bum writer’s kid who gets thrown out of the Kindergarten:
My son’s hippy charter school did not do Christmas. Instead, the administrators created an artificial, substitute holiday called the Labyrinth Celebration, and they took it very seriously. So seriously that the teachers didn’t think twice about marching dozens of children—and me—outside in howling winds and numbing cold for an hour to practice a stupid song about a shiny lantern.
The rest of the story is well worth reading, but I got stuck on this Labyrinth thingee. Is it real? Does anyone know? I tried a bit of Googling to determine its origins, and the closest I got to it was this: “A Secret Labyrinth: A Celebration of Music from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.”
Same thing? I don’t know. I’m not so fussy about my offspring’s gift-receiving-oriented festivals to really care if it’s real or not. Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Festivus, whatever makes you as a parent feel okay with showering your little one with worthless consumerist shit. I would, however, as a putative parenting expert, like to be kept informed any new developments in this category.
Let the experts come forth to enlighten me.