Time Tangle

What time is it?

Nine o’clock.

Yes, I KNOW it’s nine o’clock! Any idiot can see it’s nine o’clock, but, what time is it really?

Nine o’clock.

Nine o’clock?


Hmmm (pause). Well, what time would it be if it were this time yesterday?

Eight o’clock.

Eight o’clock?


So, at eight o’clock yesterday, what time what time would it be if it were today?

Nine o’clock.

Nine o’clock?


Hmmm (pause, again). Well, just never mind then! I just don’t get it!!!

Today marks the anniversary of the semi-annual exchange between my parents ushering in the advent – or the end – of daylight savings time.

My mom – as smart as she was – was never quite able to wrap her head around the whole thing despite my dad’s attempts to thwart her befuddlement. Much to our amusement, this usually happened around the dinner table. “Oh, boy – here we go!”, someone would exclaim, tossing their fork, after a casual reminder about the changing of the clocks was uttered. As predictable as it was, the ensuing dialogue never failed to disappoint. In the end, the concept remained as mysterious to her as her confusion did to my dad. And us kids? We were entertained twice a year, just like clockwork.

Years have passed since those days and the loss of our mom, and the eight of us no longer gather around one table for dinner like we used to. I think about her every day, but today belongs to her alone. Today we put the clocks ahead and another daylight savings time begins.

Here’s to you, Mom.

12 thoughts on “Time Tangle

  1. I love the dialogue at the beginning of your post! You nailed it! I could picture some of my students working through this biannual practice in frustration. So when I learned it was a memory of yours, and it was your mom, the dialogue became so rich! Makes you think about the little quirks that bring others to mind, and our own little quirks that make us pop into another’s head!


  2. What a wonderful slice. The dialogue is a riot and the explanation sweet. This may also be the only post I’ve seen that has something positive to say about the time change. Glad there is a reason to cherish it in a few houses.


  3. What a beautiful memory! Such a debate conversation at my house even still. It is a little funny, but then we are also tired. Time, no matter how we define it marches on.


  4. Love that you took the opportunity to turn a seemingly banal yearly event into a beautiful tribute to your mom and family.


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