Monday, February 1, 2010

The Boy in The Moon by Ian Brown

When my three boys were young, say 9, 6, and 2, I used to get looks and comments from other parents or well meaning strangers that ranged from pity to marvel. Wow! Three boys! How on earth do you manage? I wasn't ever really sure how to respond. Yes, our house got loud and messy; we went through a lot of band-aids; and sleep was never a guarantee, so what? I was their mother, and their dad and I loved them. What more was there to say? I'd usually end up saying something pithy like "We just do what we gotta do" marveling right back that people would think parenting should be any other way.

The Boy in the Moon - A father's search for his disabled son

by Ian Brown

It took me several months to pick this book up because I was afraid it would be heartbreaking. And being the mother of healthy able-bodied boys I was afraid of feeling guilty. But Brown writes with such clarity and such insight and such tender honesty that it didn't take long for me to feel accepted as a fellow parent and as a fellow human being with a wide range of real and conflicting and absurd emotions. I would read and read and find myself saying Yes, I get that.

On page 75 Brown says of raising his disabled son Walker: "But let me ask you this: is what we've been through so different from what any parent goes through? Even if your child is as normal as a bright day, was our life so far from your own experience? More intensive, perhaps; more extreme more often, yes. But was it really different in kind?"

And then on page 78: "I dreaded the doctor's waiting room, with its well-dressed mothers and well behaved children. They were never anything but kind, but walking in with Walker yowling and banging his head, I'd felt like I'd just barged into a church as a naked one-man band with a Roman candle up my ass and saying "Yes! We Have No Bananas."

Page 167: " . . . he had changed lives, mine as much as anyone's - deepened and broadened me, made me more tolerant and durable, more ethically dependable. He had given me a longer view. That felt like some kind of evolution too, a positive ethical evolution, albeit not the kind modern genomic science tends to measure."

This is an excellently written, heartfelt book.


Beth said...

We have been so very lucky - cuts, scrapes, broken bones - all pale in comparison.
Sounds like such an inspiring book.

trish said...

Yes, inspiring. Truly.

It's why I love to read people's own stories.