Daylight Savings Time & Children

A Mother’s Perspective On Saving Time:

We’re about to finish our first week of “spring forward,” also known as Daylight Savings Time, better known as The Week Parents Dread Every Spring.

Since our children are notoriously bad sleepers, I spent more time than I should have psyching myself out over this time change—after all, one kiddo going off schedule is hard enough on weary parents, but two? Add more bottom teeth cutting through on the wee little fella and all I could see was disaster in the nights to come.  Thankfully—and for the first time ever—both of our little guys slept past 7 a.m every single day, all week long.  (If you haven’t believed in miracles from the Lord before, I suggest you take this evidence as your starting place.)

So with the time change and all, I started thinking about the idea of daylight savings, replaying the words backwards (but not in a creepy play-the-Beatles-record-backward kind of way).  Daylight savings, saving daylight–and on it went in my head, like a soundbyte on repeat.

I like the sound of that. Saving daylight.

Saving daylight is precisely what I want to be doing more of—don’t you?

On sunny days, there happens to be the most glorious warm, orange glow pouring through our windows. The front of the house (the parlor) gets the quiet, still morning light while the dining room reaps the rays in the afternoon.  My favorite moments happen when I see my babies in these places:  their chubby cheeks, wide smiles, and perfectly smooth skin radiating in a sun shining almost as much as their gleeful joy.

Saving daylight.

How I wish that I could freeze-frame these moments and hop into them, Mary-Poppins-sidewalk-chalk-drawing style, for the rest of my life.

When I consider that in just three short years (or less) my oldest boy will enter kindergarten, it shocks my heart. I thought I had more time—I thought he had more time.  He and his brother will only be home a little while longer for days of endless Play-Doh, magical caves, dance parties in the kitchen, and snack time on the play mat. Block towers, hiding under the dining room table—all of these sweet early scenes will be over and soon it will be Act II.

Now that Daylight Savings has happened, it seems that the warm afternoon sun wanders into  the kitchen much too early and before I know it we are find our evening rituals of dinnertime and bedtime and bath time and where did this day go?

One of my brothers offered this wisdom shortly after I gave birth to my first:  they will never be this little again.

They will never be this little again.

I can’t imagine how anyone would want to miss it.

Perhaps it’s because I imagine the long summer days of my childhood, but I always thought these years must have gone by so slowly.Now, from a parent’s stance, it’s the total opposite of my memory.

Now, instead of wishing that the baby would sleep later, I’m happy to get him from his crib and bring him downstairs for mommy and baby cuddle time, amazed at how my grumpiness disappears the instant  I’m greeted with a mostly-toothless wonder grinning from ear to ear and saying my name, standing up so proudly in his crib.

And instead of longing for the days of no more diapers or temper tantrums, I tell myself that he’s only this little once, and relish the sound of the fifteenth round of the alphabet song and the idea that my kisses can cure a hurt finger and that “Mommy, hold me” is a cry for comfort that I may not hear in the quite the same way one day.

This week, I’m thankful for more than easy mornings; I’m thankful for the longer daylight that the calendar has afforded us: it is the only true way to stretch our time.

Saving daylight.

Saving daylight. Oh, how I wish I could.

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