Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Having a Child Isn't Always Perfect Bliss

Title: Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year
Author: Anne Lamott
Bookmark: my receipt from checking the book out from the library

I used to say that if I had to pick a favorite author, it would be Anne Lamott.  I haven't read anything by her in a long time, so when I read about her new book Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son, I knew that I had to read Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year first.  And what a worthwhile read it was.  I think I can safely say she's still one of my favorite authors perhaps even my favorite author.  You know, if I had to pick.

Many years ago (possibly high school), my best friend told me I was the most real person she knew.  While it's possible she has since wanted to take that comment back or has no recollection of ever saying it, it really stuck with me.  I have a great deal of respect for people who know who they are and own up to it.  Anne Lamott is the most "real" writer I have read, and I love her for it.  She doesn't sugar coat, she doesn't gloss over the tough bits, and she sure as hell owns up to those terrible thoughts that she wishes she didn't have. 

Operating Instructions contains all the good and the bad of having a kid: the destroyed state of one's body post-pregnancy, the lack of sleep, the occasional thoughts of murder (she contemplates leaving her son out on the front porch for the night because she can't take his colic-related crying any longer), the momentous occasions (holding his own head up, first tooth, walking, etc), the incredible feelings of love for her son, and more. She also frequently laments her son's lack of a father, but one can't help but be a teensy bit jealous of the amazing support network of friends and family that she has. 

All in all, I highly recommend this book.  If nothing else, the frankness and honesty is so completely and utterly refreshing.  I look forward to reading Some Assembly Required next.

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posted by Kate at 11:34 AM


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