Happy Tales


I love children’s books.  I love the way a simple, well written life lesson paired with a beautiful collection of illustrations can create such a sentimental piece of a child’s memory.  There are a few stories that we read as a family every night that have lighthearted, but fitting themes like “Llama Llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney and “The Kiss Box” by Bonnie Verburg.  Both explain to the children that Mom and Dad may not always be right there in the room, but we are never far and either way our love stays with them.  I love the messages they impart and hope my daughters drink in and treasure both the messages the books share and the time spent together savoring them.  I am grateful that on most nights we cuddle up as a family and chant the words together because we have done this together so many times before.  Every night, no matter what has happened during that day, this makes me happy.

Since I have been on this journey toward finding more happiness in my life, I have come across one book that has stood out.  “That’s When I’m Happy” by Beth Shoshan presents a perfect amalgam of how I imagine my memories will be when I look back on the early years of raising my daughters.  It’s not only the words and how they make me feel, but the illustrations of the happy bear family with their content, peaceful grins that make my heart feel warm and serene.


“There are some days when I’m very happy…

and there are some days

when I’m a little bit sad.

But now, on those days

when I’m a little bit sad…

I try to find my way back

to being happy.”

What a wonderful, true life lesson to impart on my girls.  And, what a sweet reminder for myself as I put my kids to bed after a long day.

“When it’s warm inside and my Mommy

and I run our fingers through the books…

And when we look at all the pictures…

And when she chooses

one special book for me

because it’s our favorite

better than all the others…

And then Mommy reads

the perfect story to me

and I can read some

of the words…

But mostly the ones

with the letters

from my name in them…

that’s when I’m happy!”

What an extraordinary thought to hold in a child’s mind as they drift off to sleep.  To hold a child’s attention while cradling her in your arms and sharing a few quiet moments…I’ll keep doing it for as long as they’ll let me.


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