Instructions Not Included

When you are 14 years old in Michigan, you can get a boating license. My parents owned a speed boat on Long Lake and wanted another “adult” to drive the boat. I tried to study for the exam, but didn’t really understand the boating rules. I took the test, and I failed. But the test administrator, seeing the sad look in my dads eyes, gave me the boating license anyway. And I was officially able to pull my father around a large busy lake while on slalom skiis, trying to avoid killing anyone while everyone around me wondered how I would do with so little knowledge. This is a perfect metaphor for my life.

Someone tells you that you are ready to be an adult, a wife, a parent..but most of us are really not clear on the rules. Some people I know go to classes and workshops and try to learn how to be better at these things. I am not one of those people. I’m more of a learn as I go kind of gal. I do not look before I leap. I leap and look back to make sure I didn’t knock anybody down on the way.

This week, I was supposed to be recovering from my “boobie removus” surgery. I think the doctor said to lay low, rest, and do not lift anything. I think that’s what she said. I was heavily drugged when discharged. I might have accidentally heard her tell me to get a puppy 2 days post surgery. Because that’s what I did. The dog was so cute and in a shelter and her name was Gilda and who names a dog Gilda so that must be a sign, right? So while it was not on the post-op forms to do so, I adopted our dwarf golden retriever who is the mini me to our Austin Powers Cosmo. I see Zoey (formerly known as Gilda) riding around on Cosmo’s shoulder soon asking us for “one MILLION dollars.”

I also must have missed the part about not flying to LA and taking Sam on set to shoot a really cool spot in a TV show. Surely if that was not allowed, I would have seen that in a form.

I must be honest here, I had a tiny amount of lipo too. But I’m only telling you, my 35,000 closest friends. So, like, don’t tell anyone else. But in addition to my special bra, I’m wearing a giant padded garment around my waist too. It ain’t pretty. But I assumed I could disregard that portion of my recovery for 24 hours. Did the cool people of the TV world need to see me like that? I decided not. I didn’t ask my dr if I was allowed to fly either, because rules are so boring.

I must say, filming was the coolest thing Ive ever seen. The episode is hilarious. It will air in 3 weeks, episode 8 of The League on FX. Legally, I think that’s all I can tell you at this point. But I can say that film people have it made with the trailers and the craft services. Sam had his own trailer and I had a lady who fetched me Diet Coke. I loved observing it all.

Sam and I had time to kill before our flight home, so we decided to see a movie and picked whatever seemed like a mindless, light comedy. The movie started and it was in Spanish with subtitles. Annoyed, we started to leave, but we were so tired we decided to stay and nap. Turned out to be one of the best movies I have ever seen. It was about a bachelor who is stuck with a child he didnt know what to do with, and his life changes forever. It was funny and sad and beautiful. It was called “Instructions Not Included” and the message was clear: total lack of preparation and learning along the way can bring you immense joy. We cried for 2 hours once it ended. (Saddest ending ever. Worse than Beaches or My Girl.)

When Sam got the tour, when I started the foundation, when we got home from the tour, everyone asked: “How will it work? What will u do about school, the other kids, your job, your marriage? What’s next for him? Xyz..etc etc.” I didn’t have the answers before. I still don’t.

I learn every day as I go. I learned that sometimes you need to teach your son how to hold a joint so it plays well on film; I learned that when the school nurse calls while you are out of town so that your 5 year old can say I miss you Mommy, it hurts your heart; I learned my new dog hates when I’m not home so she will eat my favorite shoes and Lauren’s Vera Bradley backpack.

Theres so much i dont know: How to run a nonprofit;,how to make money from my true passion: my writing; when to take kid to the doctor for a runny nose, why airplane ice cubes are so perfectly round, why being in the B group on Southwest makes me feel like a loser, why I never got into Breaking Bad or Dexter, why Hobby Lobby won’t sell Hanukkah decorations, and what the government shutdown is solving.

I dont have the answers to the whats, the hows, the whos or the whys. But I’d rather learn on the way than not attempt anything new because I don’t have all the answers.



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