Kristina Beers: Time change is a reminder to slow down

By Kristina Beers
Special to the Pioneer
By the time you are reading this, we are set squarely in the two-week window I give to adjust to the time change. Anyone who knows me understands this arbitrary change is one of those marvels of legislation that I abhor. I value nature and think that anything we try to do to capitalize on her gifts only seems to put us in a little bit of misery.

I really feel for parents of babies and toddlers. The little people don’t understand time change. All they know is how their bodies feel and it typically causes a meltdown daily until everyone finally adjusts. I still get the anxiety creeping in as it approaches, knowing how my experience has colored the way I look at the impending loss (or gain) of an hour. Even now, my semi-adult kids get cranky and irritable; not to mention the way I and my husband behave. Natural rhythms aren’t easily turned off.

Our oldest joined us for the weekend and putzed around the property, helping us with random chores and falling asleep in the living room like an older man in the early twilight. He’s gone somewhat soft from farm-boy strong living in the city and attending to his studies. I am incredibly proud of him and his hard, intellectual work, but still have to smile when I walk in the room and see his tousled hair and glassy eyes from napping on the chair. The fresh air and nature did him a world of good.

The next morning we all played the game of “Did you change the clocks already? Is that the right time? What time is it?” Along with my favorite: It is 10 a.m., but it’s really 9 a.m. (I operate on that premise too much in my refusal to transition). During our morning revelry of sunshine and omelets, suddenly Beers Boy No. 1 rushed around to get on the road back to Detroit. He had a retreat he was attending and mixed up the start time — he was late before he even got started.

That is what, I think, imbeds the thorn under my skin: We are saving daylight, theoretically, so that we can do more work; accomplish more in a day. We run the race without sometimes ever seeing or understanding the destination. The finish line, for sure, is death and that’s a certainty. I hate to think of how I rush my son here and there for the sake of filling his day. Rightfully so, he balks as an infant and toddler to this rushing, but becomes accustomed to it as a young adult and adult. Seeing him nap on the chair reminds me nature knows better than the hubris of man who thinks she can be manipulated for his own benefit.

If there is any good that can come from ‘saving time’ it’s that reminder to self to cherish time. They say in motherhood that “The days are long but the years are short.” Any mother will nod her head and verify that statement. We have endless nights and days, sometimes blurring the two with toddlers and infants, but seem to blink an eye and poof, he’s a chiseled man dozing in the same spot you once laid his tiny bundled self.

Good luck, moms and dads, who are valiantly working to re-set your children’s schedules (and are yawning yourself in the meantime). You have only one more week to go. May this serve as a bi-yearly reminder to slow down, unpack some of that harried schedule, and simply enjoy the family.

Kristina Beers lives in the Remus area with her husband and five sons. She shares her thoughts on parenting teenagers and young adults on the first and third Saturdays of each month.

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