My favorite holiday of the year just passed this weekend.
It’s better than any Halloween treat. More exciting than Fourth of July fireworks. It’s got the New Year’s Eve magic without the New Year’s Day hangover. It’s like Christmas without all of the shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating and obligatory parties. It is the perfect gift of a day for an exhausted and overwhelmed mother like me.
It’s Daylight Savings Day.
Although it has no official anthem, I find myself humming “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” weeks before its arrival. I decorate by fluffing my pillows and wearing footed pajamas. My children and I reverse roles. They send me to bed on Saturday night with a wink and a warning that the clocks won’t turn back if I’m awake to watch it. I squeeze my eyes shut and pretend to sleep as I listen for tell-tale signs like hooves on the roof or incessant winding.
If I were to personify Daylight Savings Day, I would mascot it with a benevolent Mother Nature character. She is warm and nurturing, and every autumn, she turns our clocks back while she tucks us in snugly. She tandems with Mr. Sandman and together, they grant the wish most uttered amongst worn-out folks like myself: “Just one more hour of sleep…PLEASE!” as we hurl the alarm clocks and baby monitors across the room.
The Daylight Savings Fairy must be the patron saint of parents or something. Because Daylight Savings doesn’t occur at 11 a.m. when you could get an extra hour of time at work or on the treadmill. It doesn’t commence at 3 in the afternoon for an extra hour of carline. And it most definitely doesn’t start during the airing of “High School Musical” 1 or 2. No, we are given our additional hour at drowsy 2 am, when you are either sleeping, or doing something that would require an added hour to post bail. Blessedly, all dry cleaners, Toys R Us stores and restaurants with crayons and paper placements are closed.
And if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear that the holiday was to commemorate two ancient Greek gods, the lovely nymph, Fallbackius and her horrible ogre of a sister Springforwardusa. The latter is the most evil creature in history, torturing parents with cruel sleep deprivation. Her feast day has all the celebratory spirit as April 15th. I hate Springforwardusa. I will never speak of her again.
And please do not rain on my Easter parade and give me some perfectly reasonable explanation that Daylight Savings wasn’t even practiced until World War I, and even then it wasn’t really uniform until the mid ‘70’s when Congress passed a law blah blah blah. Don’t start yammering to me about energy issues. Because it’s the same as my Chicken Picatta; I’d rather not know where it comes from, just that it goes nicely on a bed a fettuccine. Or in this case, on a bed of high thread count Egyptian cotton.
This holiday requires no phone calls, no mailing of cards or good wishes. It’s the one day of the year that living on borrowed time is a good thing. The more silent, the better. So on Sunday, please just count a sheep for me or two. I’ll sign your name to the card to Fallbackius next to her plate of Unisom cookies and warm milk.
And when I awake on Sunday morning to that beautiful, innocent joy of knowing that it is really 7:00 a.m. instead of 8:00 and rolling back over wrapping up tightly in my blanket, I’ll not know for a blessed moment if it is just another day in November or Christmas morning.
But for my worn out maternal body that lately has been falling asleep during AC/DC concerts and ringside space shuttle launches, it’ll be a day of Thanksgiving.
(©2007 Tracey Henry. Originally a Suburban Diva post way back then, but still holds true today.)