If you’ve been around for a while and you love books you will know the writer Anne Lamott. She’s been writing about her story for at least 20 years—her brilliance shows up in nonfiction—like “Operating Instructions—Journal of My Son’s First Year” and “Traveling Mercies” and “Grace (eventually)” books about her spiritual journey. She also writes wildly funny and insightful fiction—the Rosie stories. In those works of fiction you can follow Anne’s continuing growth and changes.
A few weeks ago her new book hit the stores. It’s called, “Some Assembly Required” and it's her memoir of her son (yeah the one in “Operating Instructions”) becoming a father at age 19 and her love affair with him, his girlfriend Amy and their baby Jax.
It's also the story of a woman with long-term sobriety, who is deeply committed to a spiritual path and who struggles mightily with, well… let’s call them “Alanon issues.” Its about parenting an adult, trying to figure out what is advice and what is control, and what is intrusion versus love. She comes down on the plus side of most but not without letting us in on the pain, the huge mistakes and how painful and funny it all is. (Funny—only because it’s happening to her and not to us.)
As in her earlier books she tells on her self and she shows us how even great recovery is lived in the breach.
You might be tempted to skip this book because there is a picture of a new baby foot on the cover, or because you think this is about babies or grand parenting. Nope, that’s just the foot in the door to a great book about addiction, codependence, boundaries, feeling feelings, and aching to make another person’s life different while deeply committed to your own growth.
Some Assembly Required—isn’t that all of us?