Molly's Reviews > Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son

Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott
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Mar 03, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: bookclub
Read from January 23 to 27, 2013

Let's get this straight: this wasn't a journal of her son's first son. This was a journal of neuroses, mostly of becoming a grandmother, but also of controlling others' lives and trying to keep that patter tamped down as best she could. I might have been charmed had I not read it as a mother with young children myself, which put me in a different perspective.

I read Operating Instructions a bit before I was pregnant with #1 and appreciated it, and now I'm reading this a bit before I have #2 and all I can think is: I am so grateful my mother and mother-in-law are not like this. Or, if they are, they have the wonderful grace to keep it to themselves and support me and my husband fully in the parenting choices we make, foolish or not.

This book was, instead, about Anne Lamott trying very desperately to keep her shit together as she watches her son and his baby-mama fight and deal with the pull of one (the mother) to her family in Chicago. I imagine her as an angry squirrel, shaking her fists at the young adults raising this little boy. (And I took some offense to her not-so-subtle nudges for Amy to get a job--to me, that was a cut against stay-at-home-mamas and the legitimacy of that choice.)

And though not nearly as entertaining as other Lamott books, there were still some early moments that made me snort:

Yet having a child ends any feelings of complacency one might ever have, and I knew what Sam was in for. It was like having a terminal illness but in a good way. (7)

And how could such a voluminous waste come out of such a tiny vessel? It would be as if a newborn kitten shat a whole haggis. (18)
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04/28 marked as: read

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Nancy Kelley Re: stay at home moms & getting a job--AL was paying all their bills and supporting them so I can see her desire for Amy to get a job. Her son was in school full time (she also paying for).


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