Always A Brighter Side

After reading Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s upcoming (9/8/15) title, It’s Tough To Lose Your Balloon, several things came to mind.

“Always look on the bright side.”

“Accentuate the positive…” this song. 

“When life gives you lemons…”

Childhood is tough. Losing a balloon, melting ice cream, wet shoes and socks are just some of the woes that can bring any child’s happy day down the tube quite quickly. These kind of events are not only traumatic for preschoolers, but I’ve seen even the strongest first grader have a meltdown for things as simple as a mom forgetting to put a treat in a lunch box.

This book is a see-saw back and forth, as Jarrett presents readers with a dilemma followed by the positive… the brighter side of things. As I read the book and came upon each scenario, I always said, “How is he going to turn that into a positive?” But Jarrett always does.

And that teaches us a lesson- there is always, always a brighter side to things. The idea for this book is explained in an author’s note at the end. Jarrett’s daughter lost a balloon, and his wife, Gina, told her that the bright side was Grandpa and Grandma were flying home from vacation and could see the balloon in the sky.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my 19 year old sister died very unexpectedly about a month ago. It opened my eyes to the fact that not only is childhood tough, but adulthood can be tough, too. Let me tell you, it’s one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. I am still wading through the muck and the mess of grief. But Jarrett’s title has opened my eyes to the fact that there is a brighter side to all of this.

I received the book and had to do about an hour’s worth of traveling tonight, so I had plenty of time in the car to think about what the bright side could be. If anything, the whole experience has shown me how much people care. I was continuously amazed as people from my hometown came together to be there for my family when the tragedy first struck. The experience has brought my family closer together. It has brought me closer to many friends I had “met” on Facebook, but not in real life. But, they reached out and I have had so many meaningful conversations via private messages with so many wonderful people. The acts of kindness still continue to come.

It’s tough to lose a balloon. It’s tough to lose a sister. Its tough…. (you fill in the blank). But Jarrett leaves us all with an important message here… when life gets you down, look up. Celebrate the bright side of things.

This is one of those books that came to me at just the right time. I don’t think Jarrett knew that this book was going to be of such comfort to a grieving brother, but it was. The next time life gets rough and seems too hard to handle, I’ll reach for this book and be reminded to look at the bright side. And of course, I will share this title with my first graders and always remind them… when life gets you down, look on the bright side. You can find it if you look hard enough.

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