Mo Bro Adam Rosenbaum holds the children's book he's written entitled "Mateo the Magnificent"
Mo Bro Adam Rosenbaum Image by: Adam Rosenbaum
Mo Bro Adam Rosenbaum holds the children's book he's written entitled "Mateo the Magnificent"
24 June 2022

Mo Bro Adam on Writing a Children’s Book with a Message

Mo Bro
Adam Rosenbaum
3 minutes read time

I had a very blessed life by nearly every account. I grew up in a safe, suburban neighborhood north of Los Angeles. I had successful, hard-working, loving parents. Yet, my parents divorced when I was in 2nd grade, and my whole world changed. Because of the divorce, my family became very independent. So, out of necessity, I became independent too. However, I was so young at the time, so I didn’t know how to grasp this or act accordingly. I interpreted being independent as someone who kept their feelings to themselves and worked through them on their own. Boy, was I wrong, because that was hard!

That perspective set me on a trajectory to a challenging relationship with myself -- constant self-doubt, negative talk, and feeling sad for myself. I was very critical and expected more from myself. Feelings of insecurity about my self-image and low self-esteem were compounded by the anxiety that I would never feel good about myself. I didn’t know how to manage or live with those thoughts. I didn’t know how to accept them, or get them out of my head. It was tough.

Fortunately, I had time on my side to help manage these difficulties. Having the opportunity and time to grow up played a considerable role in building my confidence and getting past negative thoughts. It wasn't until college that I fully realized that people didn't have time to think and worry about me. When I began focusing on myself, I didn't have time to consider what others thought of me. It was a great moment of clarity.

Fast forward to 2020. I have wanted to write a children’s book for over ten years, but I had created an irrational fear that I needed to become a father before writing one first. So I never got around to putting pen to paper and starting. But during the early part of the pandemic, I read a fable about a powerful king who assembled a group of wise men to create a ring that will make him happy when he is sad. After deliberation, the sages handed him a simple ring with the words "This too shall pass" etched on it. After reading this, I immediately had the "aha!" moment that this story needed to be adapted into a children's book. This wasn't a lesson I remembered learning at a young age, but it would have been a good one. It’s this message that inspired me to write Mateo the Magnificent: The Untold Story of the Brave and Curious Unicycling Juggler.

Mateo the Magnificent is the story of Mateo the husky, a boisterous and courageous unicycling tomato juggler who needs to learn about humility and the lesson of impermanence. Impermanence allows all people – children and adults alike -- to cope more easily with trying times. I’m hopeful this story will help kids begin understanding their own emotions and the impermanent nature of phenomena; ultimately cultivating self-awareness and compassion towards themselves and others.

" I don’t want kids to feel stuck when they don’t know how to express themselves or don’t feel comfortable expressing their vulnerability. "

Moments come and go. Days pass by, turning into weeks, then months, then years. You and the life you lead are constantly changing. Nothing is permanent. And so, it is beneficial to remind ourselves of this as we confront adversity and as negative emotions become overwhelming. Just as negative occurrences are not permanent, neither are positive ones. Realizing this is important to constructing a balanced perspective. Rather than viewing these situations as inevitable, one can begin to see them as the precious gifts that they are. So my hope is that this message of humility after success and confidence after defeat will lead to many helpful "but remember when Mateo the Magnificent…" conversations.

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