Anne Lamott helps her son figure out parenthood

Anne Lamott

Before there was such a thing as a “mommy blogger,” there was writer Anne Lamott, whose 1993 confessional memoir “Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year” — which detailed all the messy and joyous ins and outs of having a baby — was a huge best-seller. Now, 19 years later, she’s written (with help from her young son, Sam) a follow-up of sorts: “Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son,” about the first year of her grandson Jax’s life.  

Lamott says she thought of writing “Some Assembly Required,” although “not in any kind of meaningful way,” and that it was her editor and Sam who pushed her to follow through with it. “I thought, ‘I don’t want to do it, I’d already done it,’” she remembers. “But when I mentioned it to Sam, he had so much enthusiasm for it. ‘Operating Instructions’ made such a difference to Sam’s sense of self — he says in the preface that he can feel my heart when he reads it — [and that] made me want to do it.”

“Operating Instructions” is a love letter to Sam, and the same can be said for “Some Assembly Required” and Jax — the little baby is very much at the heart of the memoir. Like any first-time grandparent, “I fell so desperately, pathetically in love with him,” recalls Lamott. Accordingly a big component of  “Some Assembly Required” is her struggle with letting go of control of Sam and his girlfriend Amy’s parenting process. “They get to do what I did,” she says, “which is raise my kid as I see fit. But if I got to, I’d either run alongside Sam and Jax or I’d be behind them in my car trying to throw them off my scent, with a newspaper between me and the wheel. But you don’t get to; you really have to let them go.”

A new (surprise) arrival
The arrival of Jax was a surprise to everyone involved, and Lamott says she had to comes to terms with being a grandmother a lot sooner than she expected. “Sam and I are quite close, and I’d always looked forward with enthusiasm to becoming a grandmother someday, in, say, 10 years from now,” she writes in the preface. “Amy was 20 when she delivered, and Sam was 19. They’re both a little young, but who asked me?”

How Sam helped
   
Sam’s contribution comes by way of his mother interviewing him, or through e-mails he would send her. “A lot of the interviews were natural,” she says. “He’s very sweet. He’d call to check in and I’d say, ‘Wait, wait! Let me get my laptop!’ and I’d start scribbling notes and get it verbatim because it would be, to me, very profound.” 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

Local

Supporters say man accused of robbery was misidentified

A Liberian immigrant couple charged with extorting money from an elderly woman in March will be in court Thursday for a bail hearing, but supporters say it's a case of…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

Movies

The Cannes Film Festival announces its 2014 lineup

The lineup of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival was announced this morning, promising the latest from a slew of usual (and some unusual) suspects.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.