As a parent, I always appreciate humorous and heartwarming stories from other parents on their journey along the same road I've taken. Chicken Soup for the Soul books are known for such tales, and they don't disappoint with their latest, Parenthood: 101 Heartwarming and Humorous Stories about the Joys of Raising Children of All Ages.
As I'm now a grandma and all done with raising little kids (though I do so enjoy my little grandkids), I appreciated that this edition included not only stories on parents of young children, but stories about older kids, tales of moms and dads facing the empty-nest phase, too.
The back cover of the book says, "Older parents will laugh a lot, tear up a little, and nod their heads in agreement as they recognize shared experiences shaping young lives." I did all of that and more.
Titles of the chapters pretty much tell readers what's in store, what to brace for, whether tissues should be on hand while reading:
- Becoming a Family
- All in a Day's Work
- Is There a Manual for This?
- Parenting Faux Pas
- Stop and Smell the Roses
- Learning from Each Other
- Treasured moments
- From the Mouths of Babes
- What Goes Around Comes Around
- Love Conquers All
- Saying Thank You
- Giving Them Wings to Fly
All the stories are well-written but one that immediately touched my heart with the soul-stirring imagery came from the "Giving Them Wings to Fly" chapter. (You surely knew I had to start with that chapter!) It's by Amy Giles and titled Swing with Me. For copyright reasons, I can't share the entire essay here, but this is how it begins:
"Swing with me." The neglected swing set calls me. Gritty, squeaky, and booby-trapped — the girls don't play here anymore, and the spiders know it. They've claimed the play set's tree house as their own no-girls-allowed zone, planting their flag of gossamer threads across the threshold."
It only gets better from there.
In addition to tummy ticklers and tear jerkers from both moms and dads, Parenthood includes 14 cartoons to which all parents can relate, as well as relevant quotes at the beginning of each chapter, such as the one beginning the aforementioned Swing with Me essay: "Childhood is a short season." ~Helen Hayes
Childhood is indeed a short season. That season can be hard on parents at times. Parenthood: 101 Heartwarming and Humorous Stories about the Joys of Raising Children of All Ages helps us all feel a little less alone in the journey.
Parenthood: 101 Heartwarming and Humorous Stories about the Joys of Raising Children of All Ages, published March 2013, has a suggested price of $14.95 and can be found nearly any place books are sold, in hardcover and electronic versions.
The publishers of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series have graciously offered to give two random winners a copy of Parenthood: 101 Heartwarming and Humorous Stories about the Joys of Raising Children of All Ages. Giveaway entries accepted via Rafflecopter (below), through midnight MDT May 14. The two winners will be drawn May 15 and contacted by email for shipping information.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book for review, as well as the offer of two copies for giveaway, to be shipped by the brand.