Shortly before the birth of my first child nine years ago, while browsing the bookstore for mommy wisdom, I discovered Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year and fell in love with the author and the book. More than any parenting truisms the book might have contained, it was Lamott's writing style—funny, self-deprecating, and brutally honest—that kept me reading. The big mommy insight I gleaned from Operating Instructions was that I wasn't quite as neurotic as Anne, so my kid and I would probably be all right.
This was the only book of its type that I read all the way through back then because, like a copy of a copy, subsequent mommy memoirs just weren't as sharp. I found them to be one-note and lacking in whatever essential quality that had drawn me to Operating Instructions in the first place. In the absence of top-notch writing, I really needed to see myself in those pages. In other memoirs, I saw college-educated stay-at-home moms who felt equal parts gratitude, mental fatigue, and boredom, but I didn't see any women who were black like me. Read more...
On top of her prolific writing career, Deesha is a "Mama. Writer. Chief cook and bottle-washer. Referee. Cheerleader. Christian. Eye-roller. Pop culture junkie. Book freak. Tech-challenged chick. Womanist. Adventurer. Grammar snob. Part-time vegetarian. Phase 10 player. Joni Mitchell stan. List maker. Calendar checker. Silver lover. Child of the '70s. Almodóvar fan. Board game aficionado. Recovering TV-holic. Editor. PTA Mom. Writing teacher. Old soul."
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