Emilia P's Reviews > Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year

Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott
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's review
Jul 13, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: real-books
Read in July, 2012

Anne Lamott, looking at the everyday with a kind but sharp microscope, chronicles the first year of her son's life, a year of friends coming by and helping her out, angry cats, feeling wildly happy and terribly sad in the middle of the night with a crying, colicky kid, watching him scratch his face up, grow his first tooth, make fart noises just about everywhere (especially in church). It captures perfectly the repetitive, snowballing, scary, sweet wonder of having a baby. No platitudes, no diagnoses of postnatal depression, just daily miracles and dealing with your brain. I think, cheesily, that "anybody thinking about having a family, lady or dude" should probably read it.

As much as being a book about having a baby, it's also about having friends - different kinds of friends, different wisdoms, different gifts to contribute -- and ultimately, about the terminal illness of her best friend since forever, Pammy. They're like 35. It's pretty devastating. I couldn't help thinking about how much help and love and wisdom I would plan to need at this juncture of my life and how much I value my "tribe" so to speak. So, thank you for sharing that, Anne. I'll carry this story in my heart for a long time.

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