Sunshine Maker

Sometimes I find it hard to write something on this little corner of the Internet. Not because I have nothing to say, in fact, quite the opposite. I have too many things to say. I write blog posts in my head all day long. Posts about the picture books I adore, posts about how to hook your kids on reading early, posts on writing, about parenting, about life in general. Sometimes I even think about writing about politics, at which point I give myself a little shake, and decide I really need to get more sleep and drink less coffee.


The point is, that all day, while I’m writing those blog posts in my head, I’m also chasing these little tiny humans around who take up every spare minute of the day and have somehow wormed their way into the very fabric of who I am. I am mom. I am the kisser of boo boos and the one who holds their foreheads and, by some bizarre magic known only to mothers, knows if they have a fever or not.


I read someone describe mothers once as the Sunshine Makers of their homes, and even though I can’t for the life of me remember where I read it, the words have become etched onto my heart.

I am the mother.

I am the Sunshine Maker.

If I start our day off with singing, and giggles, and funny dances, and extra kisses….it will be a good day. Even if there are toddler tantrums and spilled juice and play dough crumbs spread far and wide across my freshly vacuumed floor. It will be a good day.

Because I am the Sunshine Maker.

The moods of the two tiny people in my house, the general tone of their day, is on my shoulders. At least during the weekdays. During the weekend the Sunshine Maker role falls onto my husband’s shoulders as well, and I love sharing that with him.

A more commonplace way of putting it would be this. If mama ain’t happy…ain’t nobody happy. Truth.

But gosh. Being a Sunshine Maker…it’s not so easy some days. Especially when you were up all night with a sick kid, or darn it, you’d just like to fold the laundry by yourself for two minutes!

But. Regardless of the lack of sleep, or how I feel, or what kind of stress I have at the moment…I am the Sunshine Maker.


Someday my kids will be older, and I won’t have the power to control every aspect of their day. I won’t get to dictate where we play or if we leave the house or not, or what they eat for every single meal. And, knowing me, that relinquishing of power is going to be hard. Because even though this Sunshine Maker stuff is tough at times. It’s also the stuff that makes my heart pull a Grinch and swell a few sizes to large.

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Being a parent can do that to you. These little tiny humans, learning to be functioning members of society, largely by trial and error, are the best things in the world.


So all those blog posts that swirl in my head all day while I make lunches, and wipe noses, and pretend that I’m Kwazi the Octonaut…they never get written. I collapse at the end of the day, all sun shined out. Because making sunshine is bloody hard work. And sometimes I’m not as good at it as I would like to be. But luckily my two little people love me anyways. So friends, someday, when my kids are in school, or even when they are all grown up and forgetting to call me, I’ll have time to write those posts.

I’ll have time to tell you that my favorite picture book is this one, and that I will be giving it to everyone I know forever. I’ll have time to tell you that cuddling your babies, while they are still babies, and reading them book after book after book is one of the best things ever. That it will make them a reader. I’ll have time to tell you about this casserole that I make in bulk and freeze, and how it tastes like heaven in a bite mainly because it can be pulled out of the freezer and thrown directly into the oven without passing Go or Collecting 200 dollars. (Side note- I use Trader Joe’s brown rice in the casserole, and I add black beans and corn. Perfection.)

I’ll have time to write about my writing process, and how I don’t really have one. About how stories kind of churn around in my head and then I let them loose on paper. How writing still feels like a hobby, like something I should only be allowed to do once all my other chores are done, and how I don’t think that feeling will ever go away. And that I’m not sure I want it to.

I will tell you all that. And it will be witty, and charming, and funny, and loaded with pictures that weren’t taken on my Iphone. I’ll blog about how I finally took that sewing class I always wanted to take, or that trip, or about how my house is finally getting organized, and that all those projects I always wanted to do are now done. And then I’ll hit publish and send those blog posts into the great wide world, and I’ll look around my empty house. And I’ll probably cry a little. Because being a Sunshine Maker will have been the best thing I ever did with my life- even if I have shelves of books with the name Laura Martin on the binding.

Because I’ll let you in on a little secret. I don’t want to be remembered as an author. At least not by the two precious souls that call me mom. I want to be remembered as a Sunshine Maker. I want them to remember a mom with a smile on her face, who laughed, and made messes, and wasn’t perfect, but tried her best to be anyways. So. Good night friends. Go love on your little people for me. They don’t stay little long.


2 thoughts on “Sunshine Maker

  1. You are definitely a Sunshine Maker for your little ones and also for me! What a great way to see yourself, it will influence you every day if you see that as your role. I am always so proud of you and as usual I got teary eyed reading this!


  2. Hi Laura,

    Will you please email me? I seem to have misplaced your email address, though I know you sent it with your book (and your hilarious letter). 😆 We need to talk. I devoured your book quicker than I’ve read just about anything lately. I’m completely hooked, as are my 11 and 13 year olds. And I’m thinking I need to introduce you to our RAR podcast audience!

    xoxo, Sarah Mackenzie


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