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Some Assembly Required

June 13, 2012 - Meg Alexander
Although I'm a huge fan of the author Anne Lamott, her book "Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son" was an unexpected delight for me. Perhaps if I'd read her previous book, "Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year," I might have been more excited to read this follow-up. If not for an interview I listened to with Lamott on public radio, I probably would not have looked for the book when I was recently stuck at an airport. After all, how could I relate to the woes of a first-time grandmother? Was I ever in for a surprise.

Anyone ... well, anyone with any type of control issues ... could relate to the author as she shares her addiction to spending time with her beautiful new grandson, and her incessant worrying as she watches her 19-year-old son become a father. In typical Lamott fashion, she intertwines snippets of faith, irreverence, spirituality, despair, philosophy, humorous self-deprecation and poetic prose, creating an interesting, hilarious and introspective read.

My favorite parts, however, were those contributed by her son as he describes life as a parent, his overwhelming love for his son, and his exhaustion and growth as he juggles parenthood, college, a clingy mother and his relationship with the mother of his child. Oh, to have had the wisdom of this young man when I was his age!

"Some Assembly Required" isn't perfect, and it's bound to make the more conservative cringe at Lamott's spiritual outlook on life, but this book is one I'm certain I'll turn to again, when I need some perspective on my own parenting crises, and of course, some day ... a long, long, long time from now ... when I become a grandmother myself.


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