I don’t know if I could express to you how much I simply adore this book, That’s When I’m Happy by Beth Shoshan. Let’s face it, we all have days and moments when we aren’t happy. Whether we are having a crummy day or someone hurt our feelings, or we feel like the whole World is against us, it’s just inevitable that there are going to be those unhappy times in our lives.
In this book, the little bear describes how on those days when he’s feeling sad and unhappy he thinks about all the things in his life that make him happy. He describes those things throughout the book.
Every time I read this book with my kids my heart explodes with joy of all the great things I have in my life. We own this book because I treasure it so much.
I read this story to my children about a month ago and the very next day found myself in The UPS Store mailing a package. There were two ladies working in the store, a Mother and her daughter who had down-syndrome. Her Mother busily helped all the customers and I watched as her daughter walked around the entire store straightening up everything she could find that was out of place. She kept going back to this one particular little pile of papers behind the counter. I could tell it was important to her.
A little bit later (it was busy in the store) she grabbed a piece of paper off of that stack that she kept adjusting and walked up to me. She looked up, handed me a small piece of white paper and said, “Hi. This is for your today.” I said “Thank you” and as she walked away I read it.
I found myself holding back tears the rest of my visit in the store. It was as if Elizabeth read my soul that day without even knowing me. She didn’t choose to give the note to the lady in front of me or the man standing behind me. She gave it to me…I bet you’re wondering why it’s all crumpled and worn right? Well, I have kept this little note in the pocket of my purse ever since, and every time I feel unhappy, I pull it out and read it. I feel like this little piece of white paper has changed my life.
So I got thinking about my little boys and how I know there are days when they aren’t happy. I decided I wanted to have my boys create their own “That’s When I’m Happy” book so that whenever they are feeling blue they can get out their book and remember all the things that make them happy. We’ve been working on this project FOREVER but the boys finally got them finished.
Here is my oldest’s Book:
(Now if you are reading this Grandma, don’t be alarmed at the size of your hair. I swear it isn’t that big! Plus, my son always draws me like that too. haha!)
That is me in the back pushing the double stroller with my daughter in it and my son walking with us. I always insist on going to this park with the sidewalk wrapped all the way around it so I can get in some exercise while the kids are playing. I loved how my son remembered all the details in his drawing.
The last page in their book is a picture of them being happy.
Here is my younger son’s book. I had to write in everything he said and it’s hard to read so I’m going to add it to the top of the pictures.
I think I treasure these simple books more than my kids. Being able to see the heartfelt things they chose that makes them happy is very touching to me. Now when I’m feeling down, not only do I have my crumbled piece of paper to look at, but I also look through these simple books that remind me of the things I have in my life that make me happy.