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Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul 2: 101 More Stories to Open the Hearts and Rekindle the Spirits of Moth [Paperback]

Jack Canfield , Mark Victor Hansen , Marci Shimoff , Carol Kline
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 15 2001 Chicken Soup for the Soul

She nurtured you from a helpless infant to a successful adult. She calmed your fears and dried your tears. She praised you when you needed encouragement and pushed you when you needed motivation. She was your nurse, your maid, your coach, your chauffeur, your teacher and your friend. She was there for you and loved you no matter what. She has the most rewarding, yet most difficult job in the world. She is your mother.

This poignant collection of stories for and about the most important woman in our lives features chapters on Love, Becoming a Mother, Mothers and daughters, Miracles, Special Moments, Letting Go and more. It is a delightful anthology that will touch and warm the hearts of readers of all ages and from all walks of life.



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About the Author

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling coauthors, are professional speakers who have dedicated their lives to enhancing the personal and professional development of others.

Marci Shimoff is the coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul and Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul. A professional speaker, she talks to thousands of women worldwide about personal growth, self-development and professional success.

Carol Kline is codirector of the Dog Rescue Program at the Noah's Ark Animal Foundation. Based out of Fairfield, Iowa, she is also a professional writer, speaker, certified parenting-skills instructor and self-esteem facilitator.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Confessions of a Stepmother

When I met Larry, my husband-to-be, he came complete with an eighteen-month-old daughter, McKenna, and a four-year-old son, Lorin—on weekends.

The day I met the children, we walked around a pond, Larry holding the diapered McKenna in his arms while Lorin ran around finding frogs to show me. I was stunned. These children were an enormous piece of the man I loved and yet had really nothing to do with me. How did this stepmother thing work?

I quickly fell in love with Lorin's impish grin and McKenna's pudgy baby body, warm against my chest as I held her. I was completely captivated by my new and charming "instant family," but the children's mother, Dia, was a different story. We had a wary relationship, the edge of hostility between us only thinly veiled. I did my best to ignore her and focused instead on the two adorable children she'd borne.

The children and I got along well, though Lorin was somewhat standoffish. Perhaps it was loyalty to his mother, or being a boy, or at four simply wanting more independence. McKenna, being so little, had no such qualms. She loved me and let me know it, unreservedly and with a sweetness and innocence that took my breath away. I couldn't resist her love and when I fell, I fell hard. Almost immediately, we formed our own mutual fan club—two hearts that beat as one.

In fact, it was McKenna who proposed to me first. We sat together in an airport waiting room, on our way to visit Larry's parents. She was almost three, and she sat facing me in my lap, playing with my necklace and every so often looking into my face with worshipful eyes. I smiled at her, feeling the fullness of love for her present in my own heart. Larry sat beside us and Lorin was motoring around the rows of plastic seats, making engine noises with his mouth. To the casual observer, a typical young family. But we weren't a family because Larry hadn't popped the question yet. And although I didn't want to be pushy, we both knew my patience was wearing thin. What, I wondered, was he waiting for?

Then McKenna pulled her pacifier out of her mouth and returning my smile, said brightly, "Will you marry me?" After a moment of shocked silence, we all laughed till our sides hurt. Me with delight, Larry with the release of tension and the children simply because the grown-ups were laughing. Happily, it didn't take Larry long to follow up with his own proposal.

As time went on, I got used to part-time parenting—and having the children's mother as an unavoidable part of my life. I really liked Dia, but our positions seemed to dictate a certain grumpiness with each other that I did my best to squelch. Sometimes I had the guilty wish that the children's mother would simply disappear. A quick and painless illness and on her deathbed, she would make me promise to raise her children for her. Then the children could stay with us—truly be mine—and we could be a "real" family.

Fortunately that never happened. I didn't really want her to die; I just was jealous that she'd had children with my husband. All right, so he was her husband at the time—it still rankled.

I watched the children grow, changing from toddlers to schoolkids. And their mother and I continued our civilized and awkward interactions, arranging for the children to come and go and negotiating vacations and holiday schedules.

My friends all told me that Larry should deal with his ex-wife, and for a while we tried that. But as an active and willing caregiver, I was involved with decisions, so Dia and I went back to our previous arrangement. And as the years went by, I noticed that our phone calls changed. I actually enjoyed talking to Dia about the kids. And I think she realized that there were very few people in the world who were as interested in, charmed by or concerned about her children as I was. We began a slow but perceptible metamorphosis that was completed the year Dia sent me a Mother's Day card, thanking me for "co-mothering" her children.

That was the beginning of a new era for Dia and me. And while it hasn't always been perfect, I know now it's been extraordinary. I have a few thank-yous of my own:

Thank you, Dia, for being big enough to share your children with me. If you hadn't, I would never have known what it was like to hold a sleeping infant and feel the complete trust displayed in the limp, silky-skinned limbs gathered carefully in my embrace. I wouldn't have had the opportunity to marvel at the twists and turns a little boy's mind makes as he tries to make sense of a large and complex universe.

I would never have known that children could cry so loudly when their stomachs hurt or that after they threw up, they could smile so radiantly at you, the tears still wet on their cheeks, their pain already forgotten.

I would never have watched a boy struggle to become his own person, or have been so closely involved with the painful and serious process of "growing a teenager." I would never have had the awe-inspiring privilege of watching that squirty twelve-year-old who could drive you wild with his questions turn into a heartbreakingly handsome hunk with the megawatt smile and charming personality. As he gets ready to leave for college, I know he will drive a new generation of women wild—for entirely different reasons.

I wouldn't have felt the thrill of seeing our beautiful daughter on stage, expressing herself with a grace and depth of emotion that seemed too old for someone so young. Or had the distinctly undeserved (and guilty) thrill of vanity and pride when someone who didn't know us commented that McKenna looked like me.

Thank you for making Christmas morning a communal occasion, so the children never had to feel divided on the holiday they held so dear. I looked around one year as we all sat around the tree, while the children delivered the gifts. There we were, you and your husband, Larry and me, the kids . . . and surprisingly, I felt at home.

I understood then that you didn't have to disappear for us to be a real family.

Carol Kline  


(c)2000. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul 2 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Marion Owen, Cindy Buck, Carol Sturgulewski, Pat Stone, Cynthia Brian. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.


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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER TOP-NOTCH BOOK! May 4 2001
Format:Hardcover
I recently purchased this book for my daughter, also a mother, for her 30th birthday. The book, like all the other "Chicken Soup" books, is filled with writings that will make you smile, bring a tear to your eye, and cause you to reflect upon your own childhood memories of what you either had or perhaps, for whatever reason, did not have in a mother. If you are a mother, yourself, you will relate to the overwhelming love you feel for your children. You will realize how precious and wonderful they are and always will be throughout all the years to come. The book will make you want to hug them... just one more time while they are still yours to hold.
There is something contained in this book for everyone, and written in the typical fashion of pervious books of this nature, each page is a joy to read and incredibly inspiring and heart-warming. For those who have daughters who are also mothers, this book will rekindle that special bond that, every now and then, one takes for granted once they "take wings and leave the nest" to conquer the world on their own. The book speaks of silent thoughts we often neglect to put into words to the children we love so very much. It is a beautiful book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful April 23 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Another wonderful chicken soup book!!! Full of beautiful heart warming stories and quotes. I enjoyed this book as much as any other of the Chicken Soup books (which is quite a bit). I love the sad, happy, joyful and beautiful stories. Is this book only for mothers though? The answer is definitely no! Dads, grandmas, grandpas, sisters, brothers, anyone whose ever raised and cared for a life younger than them should read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner! May 11 2004
Format:Paperback
This book is another winner in the Chicken Soup collection. It's a second helping of touching, witty and wry parenting stories that I could relate to. It's also a fast, fun read that I could easily do between naptimes and carpools. Debbie Farmer, parenting author of 'Don't Put Lipstick on the Cat'
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER TOP-NOTCH BOOK! May 4 2001
By Sandra D. Peters - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I recently purchased this book for my daughter, also a mother, for her 30th birthday. The book, like all the other "Chicken Soup" books, is filled with writings that will make you smile, bring a tear to your eye, and cause you to reflect upon your own childhood memories of what you either had or perhaps, for whatever reason, did not have in a mother. If you are a mother, yourself, you will relate to the overwhelming love you feel for your children. You will realize how precious and wonderful they are and always will be throughout all the years to come. The book will make you want to hug them... just one more time while they are still yours to hold.
There is something contained in this book for everyone, and written in the typical fashion of pervious books of this nature, each page is a joy to read and incredibly inspiring and heart-warming. For those who have daughters who are also mothers, this book will rekindle that special bond that, every now and then, one takes for granted once they "take wings and leave the nest" to conquer the world on their own. The book speaks of silent thoughts we often neglect to put into words to the children we love so very much. It is a beautiful book!
5.0 out of 5 stars chicken soup soul March 6 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am not a mother but I buy this because I like the stories that inside and when I do a mother I have a book to read pules go to my own mother for help and other woman in my family.
5.0 out of 5 stars Light and inspirational April 12 2010
By M. Rottenstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I love this book, like all other chicken soup books! They are light to read, especially needed when you have really hard days!
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful collection of stories Dec 28 2008
By A. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I absolutely love the Chicken Soup books and the ones for the Mother's souls are so heartwarming and touching. I loved reading the stories and more than one brought tears to my eyes. An excellent gift for any mother or mother to be...they will definitely be moved by these stories.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner! May 11 2004
By Debbie Farmer,author: Don'tPutLipstickontheCat! - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is another winner in the Chicken Soup collection. It's a second helping of touching, witty and wry parenting stories that I could relate to. It's also a fast, fun read that I could easily do between naptimes and carpools. Debbie Farmer, parenting author of 'Don't Put Lipstick on the Cat'
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