Mantras for toddlers (and adults)

“If something gets in your way, move around it.”

“No matter how much you look at it, there is so much to discover.”

“Set aside some quiet time to relax and reflect. Every day.”

–Written by Linda Kranz

I first met Linda Kranz in the children’s section of Tattered Cover in June of last year. L.E. came with me to stock up on some good reads for the hot months ahead. Being only one and a half at the time, she seemed pleased with any of the bright-colored board books I placed before her. “Only One You”, by the aforementioned author, was one of them.

The sweet book seemed to celebrate diversity and encourage self-reflection to establish the theme of making “the world a better place”. Because of these positive messages, I read this to my daughter often and even used it as a back-to-school lesson with my Senior English students.

Fast forward to this typical, Saturday morning: Waking, reading, cooking breakfast, making plans. Having had a emotionally taxing week–i.e. prepping the spirit for testing season at school and experiencing the first-ever full-blown, temper tantrum of my daughter’s at a silent library–I was looking forward to a yoga class; Linnea and I both seem to be in need of a bit of zen to end our week.

The music was off in the car, and we talked about whatever came to her mind, namely chocolate on the streets, “awww, cute little houses”, and questions about why daddies don’t do yoga (more writing on this lil’ comment later). We approached the parking garage near the studio with only a few minutes to spare. Alas, no spots were left.

“That’s ok, Linnea,” I said with a small sigh, more to myself than my daughter.”We’ll find another”. We parked the car on the street. I looked in the rearview mirror, and in that moment, saw her growing smile, “Move around it, Mama.”

I giggled in amazement. She giggled too. In that instant, my toddler daughter used our shared language of picture books to relay an important lesson. We–adults and toddlers alike– need to overcome barriers that may guard us from being content in the present moment. Little L.E. reminded me that happiness is indeed a choice, regardless of the obstacles along the way.

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Note: The author of this book recently commented on this post. Read what she had to say on my About page. Also, to see more of her writing, here is a link to her blog (She has some wonderful poems! I love the one on writing.)

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