The end of daylight saving time - marked by turning our clocks back - is not a happy time for many, especially parents; as in, "What the hell are we going to do in the afternoon if it is too dark to go to the playground?!"
I experienced the fear myself, big time. The playground had become an almost-daily activity for us in September and October. No more.
But I'll tell you a secret. In the same way that I welcome rainy days, I don't mind these prematurely dark evenings in the fall and winter months.
It all about low expectations.
It's not laziness, I swear. It's simply toning down the over enthusiasm that, I admit, I adopt when planning events on sunny days. "First we'll hit the playground, then we'll have an outdoor picnic, then we'll sit take a stroll by the water and watch the sun set!"
Obviously that sort of thing never actually happened, because somewhere along the way my three year old decided that what she actually wanted to do was have a snack, stay inside and play with her blocks.
When it's getting dark by 4:30 p.m., this plan is not only easier to accept, but, due to the outdoor conditions, one of our only options.
I remember very distinctly visiting my brother when he was attending school in San Diego, sitting in his dorm room and watching MTV one day. Not a cloud in the sky and 75 degrees out. There were hummingbirds buzzing outside the window.
I wanted to protest our being indoors, but the thing was, it's almost always like that there.
I realized that I like the down time that bad weather and dark evenings demand. And although cabin fever is sure to set in at some point, I like being cozy in our little house on these nights that are growing colder and colder. I like drinking hot tea and, yes, I like making everyone's bedtime a little bit earlier.
Love it? Or hate it? Tell me what your family does once the long days of summer are over.