Sunday, October 18, 2009

Why We Bombed the Moon

What to Expect When You're Expecting has been on the paperback nonfiction best seller list for like 300 years. I read that book and it left me completely unprepared. Not unprepared for the baby thing, although I have admitted to letting my kid roll off the footstool once or twice. No, I was unprepared for all the stuff that comes WAY after the kid is old enough to tell you the ottoman is not a good perch for a roly poly infant or that they need to eat every few hours. Whatever, Lucky Charms comes in an easy open box for a reason.

Walking though a bookstore today, I felt underwhelmed, put-out and generally under-served by the book publishing industry (This means you Random House). I can go into a bookstore and learn how to make my own hominy (pass the lye, please) and then dry it in the sun and whack it with a rock to make my own grits. I can get a book to teach me how to raise sheep, weave my own cloth, dye it with onion peels and sew my own root vegetable clothes. I can learn how to read the Bible and speak Yiddish.

But there are no books called What to Expect When your Kid is about to turn 13. If this book existed it would need chapters like "I Hate You Means I Love You" or "Just Because I Throw Up in Your Car Doesn't Mean I Speed Ate 14 Hot Dogs at the Football Game After You Specifically Told Me Not to."

No one writes these books because what happens when you raise boys to be about 12 or 13 is supposed to happen in secret. No one wants to know how it happens at your house, they just want to see the finished product in the shiny, polite Eagle Scout. And, if someone did write this book and someone else who was considering procreation read the book, there might not be any more people. Come to think of it, I bet the CIA would come and take any manuscript away and fire it at the moon so that no one really knows what goes on in houses with 12 or 13 or 14 year olds.

And, I think I finally understand why we bombed our moon a week ago. Someone had the audacity to write a book about how to raise kids to be decent Eagle Scouts but included chapters about all the crap you have to go through to get there and the government took the book and shot it into a crater on the moon to save humanity. Good thing they did so that I can remain as clueless as ever for the next 7 years or so.

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