Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rattled!

Lisa recently asked me to chat about what I’ve been reading. So I thought I’d let all y’all know about a very quick, entertaining and insightful book I just plowed through last week – it’s called Rattled!, and it was written by Christine Coppa who writes the Storked! blog over at Glamour.com (I have a link to it over on there side there too).

I started reading Storked! at some point after Jane was born, so completely obsessed with parenting blogs was I. Chrissy’s son, JD, was born about a month after Jane, but her experience of having a child was much different from mine – while I was married and actively trying to become pregnant, Chrissy – who was living the young and fabulous life all Sex and the City-style in NYC (jealous!), found herself “storked” just a few months into a relationship. Her boyfriend (she calls him “A” in the book, and as far as I’m concerned, A = “Ass”) had ditched out of the scene completely by the time JD was born in August 2007, so Chrissy found herself in a position she never expected or planned for - a 26-year-old single mom living back home in New Jersey.

This was all information I knew from reading her blog, but the book goes into so much more detail. And while it’s a quick read and earned a lot of head-nodding from me (some pregnancy/parenthood experiences are oh-so-universal), it truly made me think about some things.

In her blog and in her book, Chrissy talks about being judged as a single parent - and, well, here’s the thing. I never judged single parents in a negative way, but I certainly never gave them the credit they deserved until I had my own child. I will hang my head in shame when I say I may have had a “what’s the big deal?” mindset when I was younger.

Oh, how I know what the big deal is now. When Greg is away and I’m on my own, or when Jane and I are sick at the same time, or when I want to – God forbid – do something for myself, I will often say, out loud, “I don’t know how single parents do it.” I still don’t. They don’t deserve negative judgment – rather, they deserve gold medals for doing the hardest job in the world solo. And when someone like Chrissy is a single parent unexpectedly – and does it with grace and humor to boot, while maintaining a writing career – they deserve a gold medal sprinkled with diamonds. With a cherry on top.

Something else I loved about the book was the relationship that Chrissy had with her grandmother, who passed away about a year ago. They were so very close and it made me wish I had known my grandmothers - and how much I hope that Jane has a strong bond with hers as she gets older (now she pretty much associates my mom with ice cream. Which is pretty awesome, obviously). It seems like such a special relationship to have, and one I’ll never experience.

I loved this book – I think partially because I’ve been reading Storked! for so long I feel like I “know” Chrissy, and it was so exciting to see her book come to fruition - but I know anyone who has been on a particular path, and been diverted so much that you start asking yourself “how the hell did I end up HERE?” – will love it too.

2 comments:

Oz said...

Sounds like a good read!

I, too, have that thought about single parents. I'm even more amazed by single parents with two or three children.

lgaumond said...

Yay, a book review! Sounds like a great book. I'll have to borrow it (or buy it, sorry Chrissy, you deserve the royalties).