On Being a Parent

Available September 10, 2013

Warning:  This book is not a child-rearing manual! But maybe the folks who wrote the stories should have read one! This is an anthology filled with stories of the things that went wrong, the funny things that happened when raising children. You might recognize some of the characters.

Not Your Mother's Book . . . On Being a Parent co-created by Pat Nelson and Dahlynn and Ken McKowenOn Being a Parent

From all of us at Publishing Syndicate, a special thanks to the many writers who submitted stories for this book. You shared your parenting blunders, joys and nightmares. Without the things that went wrong, there would be no book and far fewer stories to make us laugh.
This book is a collaborative effort. Writers from all over the world submitted their work for consideration, with 68 stories being selected.

Here’s a teaser from co-creator Pat Nelson’s story Moonshine and Moonlightpage 245.

When my son Steve graduated from high school, my husband, Bob, and I had been dating for just a short time. We invited my son to go to Puerto Vallarta with us, along with another couple. Steve was excited to travel to Mexico for the first time, and also excited to be going to a country where he could legally drink alcohol.

We rented a villa high on the hill overlooking old town Puerto Vallarta. Cooled by a mild breeze, we could see the hot sandy beach and the crashing surf a few miles to the west while parasailers floated in the sky above the ocean.

Steve had his first taste of living on his own. He got to sleep in a small apartment a steep 55-step climb up from our spacious two-bedroom villa.

Steve led us up to his temporary home. My legs burned at the halfway point and I had to rest. Palm trees and tropical flowers lined the stairway. “You won’t want to walk home after drinking,” I warned him. Finally at the top, we marveled at the view from his open-air living room. The apartment held everything he needed: besides the living room with a view, there was a bedroom with a queen-sized bed, a refrigerator and a bathroom with a shower.

We all enjoyed the sights and the sun of Mexico. One day, we visited Chico’s Paradise, a restaurant perched on granite and overlooking the Horcones River south of town. Children played in the water below the restaurant and stretched their arms toward us, shouting, “Peso! Peso!” We tossed pesos and small toys to the children. Other kids dove from the steep rocks and were rewarded with coins.

Steve joined the fun in the river by sliding over a waterfall into a pool of clear water. Once his feet touched the sandy bottom, he swam to shore, climbed up the boulders and did it again. He’d had a couple beers, but was not intoxicated. His mother, on the other hand (yes, that’s me!) had just one margarita and turned into the life of the party. “Salud,” I said, raising my salt-rimmed glass to tap his beer glass. I was sure I could go down the waterfall, but my son finally convinced me that if I made it down the waterfall, I would never get back up the smooth granite boulders.

Read the rest of this story and the other 67 stories in “Not Your Mother’s Book . . . On Being a Parent.” You’ll laugh all the way.

Chapter One: Baby Steps     Expect the unexpected
Chapter Two: Stories that Stink     Surviving the natural disasters of parenting.
Chapter Three: Growing Pains     Onward and upward!
Chapter Four: Lost in Translation     Which one of us is confused?
Chapter Five: Ready or Not!     Learning as you go . . .
Chapter Six: You Just Never Know     Paying the price, again and again.
Chapter Seven: All Grown Up     Been there, done that.
Chapter Eight: The Other Side of the Coin     Parents do the darndest things!