Monday, August 21, 2006

Operating Instructions: a journal of my son’s first year by Anne Lamott

I must admit that I put off reading Lamott, even though I had heard this book is good and that she is good, because of her emphasis on Christianity in her work. I fully admit that I have a kneejerk reaction to Christian writings, and let’s be honest, Christianity in general. But I am so glad I read this book. For one, I am expecting so it was wonderful to read about another mother’s thoughts—on her terror at having a boy and her own conflicted experiences and perceptions of maleness and penises (I don’t know if I am having a boy or a girl, and I do have some concerns about having a boy, or a girl for that matter). Secondly, she wrote this book during the reign of Bush Senior and spends a lot of time railing against the evils of Republicanism—but it did break my heart to think here I am with a child being born into the 2nd Bush reign which is unarguably worse that the former. Lamott also explores her faith, and calls its craziness into question at times, in a truly refreshing way. I may not be able to handle her books which deal squarely with this topic, but I appreciated her candor and questioning in this one.

4 comments:

Maia LeDoux said...

yea! I'm glad you read this - it's hands down one of my favorite books and has been for... almost ten years now. I know what you mean about the christianity but I actually love her take on it and how she explains it. I read part of travelling mercies and did enjoy it - it just got a little repetitive after awhile for me. I think she has such a human way of looking at the world, at all different aspects of the world, that I think I could actually come to a better understanding of my own non-christian undefined belief if I were to talk with her about religion. dunno. I wish more people were able to speak so openly about their true feelings (fear, love, confusion....)
anyway - her truth telling about momhood certainly has helped on those days when i yelled and wished I hadn't, or in just not feeling alone. her kid's a teen now and I am so curious how she feels as a mom of a teen. oy.
2 last things: I love how you write about such diverse books - no I love how you thoroughly enjoy reading such diverse books, and second - you are going to be a great mom whether to a boy or a girl!!!!
-maia

mishareads said...

Thank you, Maia! And I have to say I so love your blog--for the cute pictures of Sophia, and for how you express the daily joys and frustrations so openly. You're a great Mom! Sophia is lucky to have you & Jeff as parents!!
Misha

cait said...

Hi Miss,
I LOVED when she said that one of the first things that terrified about becoming a mother was that someday her child would have to go to 7th and 8th grades. AMEN!
Caitlin

mishareads said...

Cait!
I know what you mean! I am terrified of the sheer cruelty kids inflict and experience in school--all grades, really! But there is a special inner circle of hell dedicated the the humilations of middle-school.
Misha