My latest foray into scraping out time for myself and actually reading for pleasure, has been Momaholic, Crazy Confessions of a Helicopter Parent by Dena Higley. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest opinions and review.
Honestly, this has been the best Booksneeze book ever!!! It sounds trite, but I could not put this book down. I kept trying to sneak and read it when I was supposed to be making dinner. Then I caught my first grade son trying to sneak and read it, because he wanted to see what was so special about it. His report after reading a few pages: “I don’t see what the big deal is Mom. This book isn’t that good.” So sorry Dena. If you thought soap opera fans were tough, you haven’t met my seven year old.
I mention soap operas, because Dena Higley was the head writer for Days of Our Lives. She is also the mother of a college-age son who has Autism, a college-age daughter who did something unexpected, and two teenagers that she adopted. Dena was also a self-professed “helicopter parent” who obviously never read Parenting Teens with Love and Logic (at least until it was too late). She describes her book as a “how not-to story”.
What makes Momaholic so entertaining is Dena’s cleverness as a writer. She is funny, witty, relatable and makes observations that you or I might have thought in our head at one point, but never fully articulated. In short, she is everything that I want to be as a writer myself.
An example of Dena’s cleverness is an observation she made about picking her kids up from school, and how she so often sees mothers taking naps in their car while parked at the curb. But then fast forward to 10 PM that night when they really are supposed to be falling asleep, and they can’t because they are thinking of about a million things they have to do the next morning. (Okay, when I write that out it sounds rather dull, but when I read it in Momaholic it was hysterical.) It was insights like these that kept me hooked on this book even though I don’t consider myself a helicopter parent at all.
Another funny part was when she talked about her older son with Autism slipping in a funny line from the movies during a football game. We have a family member with ASD who does this all the time. A lot of his favorite lines come from his childhood Buzz Lightyear toy that my kids still play with today. “Hmmm… Very interesting. Adventure is my middle name.”
I’m not a soap opera viewer myself so I don’t know any of the juicy/gritty back-story as to why Dena lost her job at Days of Our Lives. She is such a good writer that I have no idea why the powers-that-be could not see this. But if she does decide to stay out of TV and write another book, then I know exactly what I want to read from her next. Thomas Nelson Publishers, please listen up!
Dena, I want you to write a book about parenting older children with Autism. There are lots of memoirs out there about parenting young children with Autism, but there aren’t many about making the transition to adulthood. You could spend a few chapters in the book discussing your own family’s situation, but then spend the rest of the book profiling other kids who have “made it” and the tremendous parenting that was involved. I know the perfect, not-so-perfect, ASD college student who you could devote a whole chapter to. I wish he and your son Connor could be pen-pals.