On Saturday, we took Westley shopping for a birthday gift for Rob's mom. Third Place Books-shoppers take note: children's department employees = very nice and friendly to babies. Cashier guys? Not so much. "If he drools on that...," threatened the half-hipster, half-geek kid behind the counter, as though I should know better than to bring a child into a bookstore in the first place. I said nothing, and took Westley to play in a photo booth while Rob paid.
On my way out, however, I noticed that the title of my imaginary, not-yet-written memoir is the title of someone else's real, already-published memoir. Well, except for the long subtitle part.
I was going to go with something slightly shorter, like "Getting Everything I Never Thought I Wanted."
What baffles me is how I didn't know about this book. I didn't read much during my pregnancy and Westley's first year, partly because my brain just wasn't perky enough at the end of the day to deal with pages and words, but mostly because I didn't find anything that really spoke to me. I didn't want experts or how-tos. I wanted to read other mothers who could articulate the emotions, doubts, heartbreak, and humor that go into bringing a tiny person into the world and doing the best you can with him. Two books that began to fill that literary gap for me were Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions and Rebecca Woolf's Rockabye, but there's room for so much more.
I'm glad to have found Mary F. Pols (and interested to read that she loves Lamott and also yearned for something more) and her writing, even if it means rethinking the title of my own book, if I ever get around to writing it.
If you know a good memoir by someone who happens to be a mother (I refuse to call them "momoirs"--blehblehyuck), please comment! There has to be more out there for those of us who crave literary "parenting" books.