Bedtime is kind of a big deal for my boy and I. We talk in silly voices and we talk about the serious stuff that we don’t slow down for throughout the day. We read. We pray. If I’m lucky we snuggle.

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.