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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grandparenting when your 19 year old son becomes a father, March 20, 2012
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This review is from: Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son (Hardcover)
As both a parent and grandparent- to-be, I couldn't resist ordering this one. To my surprise, it arrived a day earlier than expected and I put everything aside to read it immediately.

Written in daily and dated journal form, author Anne Lamott and her son not only write about the transformation a grandchild brings but also reveal the turbulence experienced by very young parents. When grandchild Jax arrived into the world, Lamott's son Sam was 19 and his girlfriend Amy was 20. Their relationship was bumpy even before the baby came.

So of course the bumpiness and stress continues while caring for a new baby, especially since Sam is juggling school and fatherhood and Amy can feel overwhelmed. But there are pleasures as well, watching Jax change and grow. The book is more than just a portrayal of young parents and their challenges

It is also an honest, even painfully honest, admission of the unique feelings that come with grandparenting. Based on Lamott's experiences, these feelings can be profoundly different than parenting one's own child...with some overlap, of course. She becomes upset and even territorial about decisions affecting Jax, including such events as where he will be baptized.

Because I was drawn to this book due to the impending arrival of a grandchild, I don't know if I can be anything close to objective about this memoir. I can step back enough to see how the day to day descriptions of a baby's tiniest changes might not make for enthralling reading by all. But I was swept up by the book.

I was intrigued by a letter Lamott wrote to her grandson on the Secret of Life. On another day she "interviews" her son about his grandmother as well as how his identity has been affected by parenthood.

Those familiar with Lamott's writing may recall that she wrote a book about being a single young mother while raising her son. That book was Operating Instructions. Sam came to love that work, seeing it as a gift.

So naturally he wanted Jax to have his own chronicle of his first year of life. The result is Some Assembly Required and it creates a sense of life coming full circle, from mother to son to grandchild and also from son to child.

The book has inspired me to think about how I can honor my own grandchild's first year and it could do the same for other readers. As in her other works, Lamott weaves her spiritual insights and challenges throughout Some Assembly Required and this could be motivation enough for those familiar with the author's writing to purchase this book.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 22, 2012 10:38:44 AM PDT
Ed Valentine says:
thanks for the review; I hope your grandparenting goes well! :- )

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2012 11:58:02 AM PDT
K. Corn says:
Thanks for the kind wishes and for taking the time to leave a comment as well. I appreciate it.
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