|The football field of my old high school stomping grounds|
My boys have begun calling the last half of the year "Our Half." What do they mean? Starting in January, with MLK day, the emphasis is largely on this or that group - non-white Americans, women, the LGBTQ rights movement - often with heavy emphasis on the sins, evil and wickedness of America, the Christian Faith, the Christian West, and, of course, white American men. Except for April - which doesn't seem to have such a focus - each month is dedicated to the bigotry and oppression by white American men and the equally deplorable heritage of the overall Christian West aimed at this or that demographic group, each of which exists only to be celebrated and adored.
But beginning with our third - currently injured - son's birthday at the end of June, focus begins to shift. By then, the flags and bunting and fireworks are coming out as Americans begin turning their thoughts to Independence Day, the blessings of our country, and the good fortunes of those who received the fruit of the Founding Father's efforts. July is also a time to celebrate our little "Catholic Gift", our youngest son born on the anniversary of the first moon landing.
From there, August is spent wrapping up summer, often with more traditional activities and vacations, and getting ready for the school year. For us our second oldest celebrates his birthday at the end of August. September is Labor Day, is getting ready for Autumn, and more than anything it is football season, the sport the Left hates, but still much beloved as an American distinctive.
October is kids' time, with football running forward and the World Series on the way. Halloween is still kids' time and a great precursor for the real Holiday Season coming around the corner. Our third boy (and my Mom's mother, RIP) also have birthdays in mid-October, as did my best friend growing up. October is still - in our house at least - a chance to celebrate Chris Columbus and what he accomplished and the better parts of what developed from his journeys.
Come November and Veterans day, we have Thanksgiving and more chances to celebrate the bravery and devotion of our forebears. It's also a chance to gather with family and wax nostalgic, something I don't think is a bad thing. December brings my birthday and my wife's birthday, and of course the holiday of all holidays, which we bring full blown through the twelve days of Christmas. That was something, BTW, that we got push back from in our Protestant ministry days. Too Catholic.
We keep the celebrations up through Easter, but then we begin competing with the Marxist Left and its crusade to eradicate the very traditions, beliefs, values and heritage we celebrate. Of course they also intrude into our months in the second half of the year just the same. Football kills everyone, Columbus (and all Europeans) was Nazi, a hex on the Founding Fathers, abolish Christmas by name, Pilgrims as genocidal racist, move Halloween to its pristine pagan origins and way from the date set by the evil Church, and on and on.
Yet for all the pollution by modern culture, many of these fun times still retain some traditional feeling to them. Despite what much has become, and given the long strides the Marxists have made, the last half of the year belongs to the likes of us. We try to put Christ first, and encourage those who are seeking God and the common good. We value the unique contribution to the world that Western Civilization has brought, including ideas of equality, democracy, liberty and the dignity of the human person.
We also appreciate the myriad traditions and cultural trappings that have come our way from a variety of sources. We love other cultures and their traditions, too. Recently, we've turned to Indian cooking and have been learning more about the Subcontinent and its long, interesting history.
But we always go back to our own. We do so proudly, understanding the sins of the past, cheering our ancestors' struggles and attempts to be better, and making sure our focus on traditions and the past don't blind us to the manifold sins and evils endorsed by our modern age. We do that easiest when our boy's late June birthday marks a turning point in the year, away from those who despise our traditions and our heritage, and toward that half that still seems to lift those very traditions up, even if somewhat wearily.
That's what I meant by second half of the year types.