“Today is the best day ever,” he said. This was not unusual to hear from my ten-year-old son Cameron. He says this when we go to sky-zone, when we go to the park, when he gets a new pack of basketball cards when Grandma comes to spend the night, and any other time he is expressing his happiness about what’s going on. But of all days, this was not one I expected to hear him say, it was his best day ever.
Getting up earlier than usual, Cameron and I drove about an hour north where he was scheduled for a full day of testing with a specialist. After a morning of testing, we were given a short break for lunch so he could fuel up for the afternoon round of tests. We rushed out to a nearby restaurant for a quick bite, and it was on our drive back to the doctor’s office when Cam proclaimed that this was the best day ever. Knowing he was none too excited about undergoing more tests, I was a bit confused. So I asked, “What makes this the best day ever?” Looking at me with surprise, as if this was obvious, he explained, “The mac-n-cheese, of course.” I said, “That mac-n-cheese you had for lunch was enough to make this your best day ever?” He said, “Oh yea, it was deeeeelicious!”
This was the moment that my son let me in on the secret to his seemingly non-stop joy. Cameron said to me, “Mom, whenever I have a day when something good happens, it is my best day ever.” He went on to say, “As long as something good happens, today IS my best day, and that Mac-n-cheese was a good thing!”
I was awestruck.
I shuttled him back to his testing, where I sat for the next three hours waiting for him. I could not stop thinking about what he had just said. Then I remembered an earlier incident with Cameron. It was the first time I recall him saying that it was his worst day ever. This happened a few years ago. I wanted to take a walk around the neighborhood and did not want to leave Cameron at home, alone. So despite his protests, I had him walk with me. He was not happy. In fact, he was so unhappy he said, “This is the worst day of my whole life.” I kept walking, letting him vent, not saying anything. Then he took an unexpected u-turn from his own frustration. His whole demeanor changed and he said very calmly, “Well, I guess this isn’t the worst day of my life because I really did love what we did in gym class today.
I knew that was a special moment then, but apparently, I needed Mac-n-Cheese to drive the point home. Finally, I think I get it.
What are your best days ever? I have so many good days, which I now see as my best memories, some of my most favorite times, but thanks to Cameron, I realize they are not my best days.
Of course, not all days are as good as the next. That’s not the point. The point is that today is the day that I am fortunate enough to experience, and this is the day that has the potential to be my very best, right here, right now. When this day turns into the next day, that will become my very best day. As long as I am sure to enjoy something about my day, it now qualifies as my best day.
Today I am going to finish a newsletter, fold some clothes, watch my son play basketball, and relax with my boys. It is the best day ever.
How about you?