Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Some Assembly Required, by Anne Lamott & Sam Lamott

Some Assembly Required
Written by Anne Lamott
With Sam Lamott

“Everything was coming together by coming apart . . . It is the most difficult Zen practice to leave people to their destiny, even though it's painful - just loving them, and breathing with them, and distracting them in a sweet way, and laughing with them . . . if something was not my problem, I probably did not have the solution.” ― Anne Lamott, Some Assembly Required

Well I'll be honest, I picked up this book to read off the new release shelf because my best friend just had her first baby and I, understandably, had baby on the brain. The idea of reading the story of someone else's take on this time period sparked my interest. I'd never read any other books by Anne Lamott, although I have since learned that she is an established writer and actually wrote a book about her son's young life after he was born. So this book, Some Assembly Required, was almost like a sequel or Part 2 to her earlier work (Operating Instructions).

I found myself laughing and smiling at Anne's theatrics. She reminded me of myself in a lot of ways, aside from the fact that I'm a staunch atheist and she very obviously has a close relationship with God. But she was funny like me, crazy like me, and a little warped, like me. She had no trouble laughing at her own idiosyncrasies and no trouble admitting to herself when she was being irrational and unreasonable. Sometimes allowing herself to continue on that vein, and other times reining it with the help of those around her.

Something that makes Anne's character so real is her day to day struggles and desire to take the right path. She tries to be humble and kind and generous, but still succumbs occasionally to the selfishness that makes her human. She loves with her whole heart, but can still be petty sometimes. That is what made this such a fantastic story. I think anyone who has had a baby or become a grandparent for the first time can understand the frustration and humility that those roles entail. I may have to take a journey to the past and try out the first book, Operating Instructions, to see if I like it as much as I liked this.

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