Thursday, December 20, 2007

If not this book, what will you get me?

Unlike most new moms to be who are concerned only with the birth of their first child, I was already thinking about what I'd like for my first mother's day as a mother. And just when I had found the perfect item to put on my online wishlist, my hopes and dreams have been dashed.

Lynne Spears' book, "Pop Culture Mom: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World" has been postponed indefinitely. Yes, I know you're probably thinking the same thing. How will so many other mothers in the world manage to raise such wonderful daughters as Britney and Jamie Lynn without the sage advice that only Lynne Spears could have provided?

Just in case you haven't seen the many articles on the topic - here's one I particularly liked (in blue), along with my commentary (in red).

Spears' Parenting Book Off After Teen Pregnancy

By Jill Serjeant
Wednesday, December 19, 2007; 3:05 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Christian publisher said on Wednesday it has called off a parenting book written by Lynne Spears -- the mother of troubled pop star Britney Spears and her pregnant 16-year-old sister, Jamie Lynn.

Seriously? A Christian publisher was really okay with the message this sends? Even without Jamie Lynn's announcement, I'm a bit baffled.

"We have postponed the book indefinitely," said Lindsey Nobles, spokeswoman for Tennessee-based Thomas Nelson.

Nobles did not give a reason for the decision, which followed news on Tuesday that Jamie Lynn Spears was three months pregnant.

No reason for the decision? Is this the only Christian publisher unwilling to come out and say that they have an issue with teen sex and teen pregnancy? Maybe they couldn't quite figure out how to craft the, "We're disappointed to hear that Jamie Lynn is knocked up, but at least she's not having an abortion" message.

Jamie Lynn Spears is the star of the Nickelodeon show "Zoey 101," which is popular with preteens.

Anyone care to guess whether Nickelodeon will be pulling Jamie Lynn from the show? Not that I would disagree with that decision, but why not give the kiddies a chance to see what it's like to be preggers in high school in America today. There were certainly plenty of examples of that in my high school, although I doubt any of them watched a lot of Nickelodeon.

In an interview with OK! Magazine, the actress said she was "shocked and scared," but planned to keep the baby, which was fathered by her longtime boyfriend, Casey Aldridge, 19.

Shocked and scared? The scared part I certainly get. I made the decision to get pregnant and it's still a little scary. And I waited until age 28 to make that decision. Not so sure I would have been as ready 12 years ago. But the shocked thing? Did Lynne Spears, while running her faith-based household, neglect to teach her daughters about sex? The whole "this is how babies are made" conversation never happened? Anyone care to get them tested for STDs while we're on the topic?

Spears said she met Aldridge, the son of a Tennessee papermill worker, at church.

Come one, come all. Get your kids signed up for our church youth group!

News of the pregnancy came after a disastrous year for Britney Spears and dominated U.S. talk shows on Wednesday. The OK! Magazine Web site ( crashed under the volume of traffic.

Lynne Spears said in the article she was shocked when her younger daughter told her she was pregnant, saying Jamie Lynn was "always conscientious" and never violated curfew.

More shock, eh? Maybe in Lynne's world sex can only happen in the post-curfew hours? Anyone else find it a bit curious that the Spears family chose to release this news first to OK! Magazine? Not enough wholesome Christian publishers willing to pay for that story?

The working title for the book was "Pop Culture Mom: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World." Described by the publisher as "a parenting book that's going to have faith elements to it," it had been set for publication on Mother's Day in May 2008.

"We understand that Lynne needs to spend time with her family now," Nobles said.

Lynne needs to spend time with her family now? Hmm...maybe a bit more time spent with her daughters before would have saved the rest of us from quite a few Spears family tabloid stories.

It was unclear whether OK! paid Jamie Lynn or her mother for the pregnancy exclusive. The magazine did not return calls for comment, but celebrity Web site said the teenage mom would get $1 million from OK! for a photo shoot when her baby is born.

And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today. ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.

Britney Spears, 26, now undergoing parenting training and random drug and alcohol testing as part of a bitter custody dispute over her own two young sons, was asked by paparazzi to comment late on Tuesday.

"My sister's not pregnant," she replied curtly.

There's just nothing to say about Britney that hasn't already been said by the media countless times. Could she be envious that her little sister has trumped her as bigger tabloid news this week? I'm just hoping that we won't get any further beaver shots from the elder Spears daughter.

Nickelodeon said "Zoey 101" had already wrapped up production on its fourth and final season. The cable network said, "We respect Jamie Lynn's decision to take responsibility in this sensitive and personal situation."

OK - willing to give Nick some credit here - sensitive and personal situation. But whew! They're pretty darn lucky that fourth and final season has wrapped!

Please don't get me wrong, I would not put full blame on the parents for the way Jamie Lynn and Britney have turned out. Plenty of other forces at play. And let's be honest, they might not have started with the best in the mental gene pool, although the physical gene pool was certainly kind to them. But I'm sure the world at large shares my feelings that the world will be a better place without this book.

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