Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Motherhood, on repeat

"Can we go to the pool today?"

I have heard that question, bright and early, every morning since October 1st.

Every day my answer is the same: "No, buddy. The pool is closed now."

"But when will it open again?" Benjamin will invariably ask.

"In May."

"When's May?"

"In the spring."

Even after 46 days, he's always a little crushed when I tell him we can't go swimming.

Recently (you may have noticed), we ended daylight saving time. This worked well for Rachel whose clock, since March, has been an hour slow. I don't know how she was getting herself out of bed in the morning when the big, red numbers on her digital clock were telling her it was an hour earlier than it really was (she sets an alarm on her iPod rather than on her clock radio—and I don't blame her because I can't stand the bleeping of an old-fashioned clock radio either (clock radios are old-fashioned now, right? (because I'm old?)) so displaying the correct time wasn't important for alarm purposes).

But on the magical morning of November 6th, her clock suddenly began displaying the correct time since we'd fallen an hour back.

Every night for the past week and a half, before she goes to bed, Rachel has asked, "Is it still daylight savings?"

"Yes," I've been telling her (even though, technically, it's not, but the essence of her question is, "Are we still doing this weird time-change thing?" and, yes—yes, we are).

"When does that stop?"

"I'm not going to answer that question," I finally said a few days ago.

"Why not?" she asked, visibly offended.

"Because I want you to think back—search! Check the remote and dusty recesses of your brain—and see if you can remember the answer for yourself."

"Oh, you have not told me the answer to this!" she scoffed.

"Oh, I have definitely told you the answer to this," I assured her.

"April," Miriam smirked. "Or March. Or something. In the spring."

"In the spring," I nodded, pursed lips crowning my duck-face know-it-all look.

"You have never told me that," Rachel denied.

"Then how does Miriam know?" I asked.

"I don't know! Someone else must have told her. Her teacher...someone...I don't know."

"It was Mom. Mom told me—us—because you ask that same question like every single day!" Miriam said.

"Do not!" Rachel objected.

"Do too!" Miriam said.

"Do not!"

"Do too!" Miriam and I chanted in unison.

To her credit, I think she gets it now. At any rate she hasn't asked me about it for several weeks in a row. So while she may not "get" daylight saving time (or the end thereof)—because does anybody really understand daylight savings (like...why...what is even the purpose?)—she's at least accepted it as normal.

I'm not sure if that's good (though I don't think, in this particular instance, that it's bad, either). I don't know if we need to normalize everything though. Perhaps some things should continue to be questioned, rather than accepted. Things, you know, worse than daylight saving time.

There are things worse than daylight saving time.

(By the way, Benjamin, the pool is still closed).

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