I haven't read Anne Lamott's book, Operating Instructions, the journal of her son's first year. But this book, her first year as a grandmother, was nice to read as a grandmother. When she talks about needing a grandchild fix, I can totally relate. When she wrote of loving every minute she spends with her grandson, I can relate. And when she said when he went home with his parents and that she was exhausted, I can totally relate!
This book was a tad heavy on religion and all that gobbedly goop that she is also famous for writing about, but it was tolerable. My eyes did glaze over a few times, but that's okay. There were plenty of great passages.
I especially liked her November 27 entry, a letter to Jax, her grandson, on the Secret of Life. She sets it up as that he'll probably think there is a day in second grade when he's absent from school when he'll think the teacher tells everyone the secret of life. Then she writes:
"But there was not such a day in school. No one got the instructions. That is the secret of life. Everyone is flailing around, winging it most of the time, trying to find the way out, or through, or up, without a map. This lack of instruction manual is how most people develop compassion, and how they figure out to show up, care, help and serve, as the only way of filling up and being free. Otherwise, you grow up to be someone who needs to dominate and shame others, so no one will know that you weren't there the day the instructions were passed out."
That and a few other remarkable passages make this a wonderful book. If I hadn't already read it, I'd read it.
Book Read: Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son
Author: Anne Lamott with Sam Lamott