It was a Sunday morning. I was sitting in the church choir loft dressed in my Sunday clothes just like my mama taught me. Being a good church-going girl, I was probably wearing pantyhose because this was long before I gave them up. This was before the time of smart phones. Before Facebook and Instagram. These were the olden days of my early 20’s.
The worship service began. I noticed that our usual worship leader was absent but nothing was said about it. Another man filled in, and we all didn’t think twice. We stood and sang.
And then I saw it.
Sneaking into the back of the church, guitar in hand, was the regular worship leader. He was followed by his wife and children. And all of a sudden it dawned on me. He thought he was a half hour early. When he walked through those doors to the church sanctuary, filled with singing people, he realized that he was actually a half hour late.
He was a victim of the dreaded time change. Time change is hard.
Fast-forward almost 20 years. I am a mama. My babies have schedules. The little one goes down for a nap at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. She goes to bed at 6:30 p.m., and she wakes up at 9:30 p.m. for one last feeding before I go to bed. On a perfect day, the older child also naps at 1:30 p.m. The house is quiet for an hour or so, and the nap time angels sing, very softly of course.
Side note: If the angels sing too loudly and wake the children, they are in charge of watching them, which is convenient because angels are super good at watching over people. This is what they do, y’all.
This same older child is supposed to go to bed at 8:00 p.m., but after bath time, toothbrushing and flossing, book-reading, song-singing, hugs and kisses, bedtime-praying, and enough whining to make Caillou look like a saint, it’s more like 8:30 p.m. We try our best.
But these schedules? They are precious. They have taken months to cultivate and perfect. And although growth and maturity in my kids might alter them slightly, these changes are slow and subtle. And then . . .
Two times a year, those schedules are turned on their heads. They are beaten up and disregarded and disrespected.
Twice a year, we have a blasted time change.
My children that wake up at 6:00 a.m. start waking up at 5:00 a.m. Or they refuse to go to sleep at their scheduled time because they are just. not. tired. And I get it. That hour difference throws off my grown-up internal clock, and I’ve been doing this for decades. So, of course, it messes with their routines.
I have tried everything. Before that clock jumps ahead in the spring, I have spent two weeks inching back that bedtime, 5-10 minutes at a time. Nope. The kid isn’t fooled. In the fall, I have allowed him to stay up a little later, in hopes that he would sleep in and save me from an oh-my-goodness-it-can’t-possibly-be-morning-yet wakeup time. Again, no dice.
So I am out of options, except for possibly reciting the Serenity Prayer for the next few months while my kids get their little internal clocks worked out to match Daylight Savings Time. We’ll have it all back into a smooth rhythm just in time for November to come around, and then we’ll do it all over again.
So get ready, mamas. Change the clocks on your microwaves and ovens and car stereos. (Have they figured out how to make those change by themselves?) Be sure your phones are plugged in. At least those change by themselves. Be prepared to hear little voices giggling (or crying) from the other room after bedtime because it just doesn’t feel like it’s time to go to bed. Brace yourself for being a little tired. Be ready to be extra flexible with your schedule for the sake of your little ones. Treat yourself to something heavily caffeinated from Starbucks on your way to church on Sunday morning. And for heaven’s sake, don’t be an hour late. Amen and amen.