I protect this time. I’ve left meetings early. I’ve skipped happy hours. I’ve rushed home from here and there, because bedtime is our time to reconnect.
On a recent night after the lights were out, my son asked me a question he had never asked before “Are you my sunshine?”
Sigh. My tired eyes filled with tears. I had not been his sunshine that day and I knew it. I had been more of a dark cloud with an occasional bolt of lightening. Crap. I want to be his sunshine. More than just about anything I want to be a bright spot in this world for my boy. A warm guiding light he can count on.
I quietly responded by saying “I wasn’t today.” Unfazed he sang You Are My Sunshine to me in a hushed sleepy voice. I can’t remember him ever singing the song before, but it was a precious performance. He was a ray of sunshine and I needed it. I basked in the warmth.
It had been one of those days. A day when I was overwhelmed by work, a printer that refused to work, and needed files ruined by a failed hard drive. A frigid day with errands to run and much to do. A day when upon coming home from buying lots of groceries I discovered the new dog has peed what seemed to be a gallon in her kennel and it was at that moment I realized I had no paper towels, despite the fact that they were on my grocery list.
The dog was as pleased with getting a bath as I was about going back to the store. It was just that kind of day. A day when I felt like I was falling behind in multiple directions. I was tired and tired of it all.
I begin nearly all of my days by saying to myself, “this is the day The Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” I then pray and spend a few minutes thinking about what the day has in store and what I want to accomplish. It is a good sunny way to start the day.
On this day, I let the clouds creep in. I managed, I did the best I could, and let that be enough.
I got as much work done as possible. I got the mess cleaned up, the groceries put away, and the dog bathed. And as my husband returned from work and our son from school, I was in a dark mood. I knew it and I hated it. I made an effort to let the clouds part. I shared what was stressing me out. It would be great to say I worked out to relieve my stress, but I mixed a drink and we ate spaghetti. As we hung out together I began to feel better.
If there is anything I’ve learned as a lifelong Minnesotan, it is that today’s weather has no bearing on tomorrow’s. Likewise, my mood and perceived failures today don’t have to predict my mood or successes for tomorrow. I can let this day go. We are all entitled to some cloudy days. It doesn’t mean we are a failure.
My son knew I needed some sunshine and he gave it to me. The best day brightener ever. The words of that little song still echo in my ears and fill my heart. I will do my best to be my son’s sunshine, especially on his dark days when he needs it most.
Be someone’s sunshine.