Boy in the Moon Book Review

Pages: 7 (2627 words) Published: January 12, 2013
Ian browns sons face is distorted, missing his eyebrows, has a thick lower lip, beats himself and so much more. His son, Walker (note the sad irony of his name) is diagnosed with cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome (CFC), an extremely rare genetic mutations with only 100 reported cases worldwide. The formula walker depends on to live costs the Browns 12, 000$ a year. Ian meets with other families who have a relative or a loved one diagnosed with CFC, though the solace they provide is only passively communal. “The Boy In The Moon” presents the philosophical dilemma that one receives and demonstrates the bitter-sweet moments of a life that come along with a child like Walker. Ian starts the book with an all too common routine in the Browns household. Walker is rhythmically beating himself in the dead of the night waking Ian up to do “The same routine of tiny details, connected in precise order, each mundane, each crucial” as he puts it. The only way to ease him back asleep is to make him a bottle which requires him to disconnect the feeding contraption. Walker has a mickey or a G-tube (gastrostomy tube) which is a tube that goes from the stomach all the way outside the body, the tube is cut off by a valve. Walker feeds during the night through the mickey. The simple task of making a bottle for walker now becomes an extremely complicated task. First he must turn off the feeding pump, close the feed line, crimp the tube, un-zip the sleeper, unlock the line from the mickey, pull the line, re-zip the sleeper then take out walker, all in the dark and in complete silence. Ian and Johanna’s (Ian’s wife) first child is called Hayley, the idea of having their second child Walker came because of the thought that Hayley, being a single child, needed the company, an ally of sorts in ‘her future fights’ as Ian comes to call it. After a while ‘We [Ian and Johanna] let nature take its course’ and ‘quickly produced a brother for Hayley’. Hayley was three when Walker was born. The news of his condition led to arguments about having a third child. Johanna wanted to bracket Walker with normality (though I think she thought that this might institutionalize him) and insulate Hayley with the loneliness of being raised with an extremely disabled child. However Ian disagreed with this and recalls that the guilt ‘was as inevitable as the weather’. The sort of void a parent must feel for their children in such a situation would be huge. Society now a day is a highly structured environment and the systematization of a child is crucial. Any successful system or social structure requires consistency which is where ‘normality’ or something along the lines of ‘normalness’ comes in. Johanna is trying to bring her children as close to being normal because she believes that her family might not fit in completely. Ian brings up a series of questions regarding walker. He asks if he can be taught, or will he change? Can his condition get any better? One question that really moved me was; is there really a child underneath that body? Does he understand the world he lives in? When Walker sees Hayley did he really say hey-hey or was he just breathing? When I [Ian] say goodbye, did he really say bye-bye or was he just breathing? Ian then proceeds to explaining how he wasn’t the only one that thought this; Hayley would say “Dad! He just said bye!” followed by “I’m going to cry”. I can only imagine the how this must feel. Not knowing if Walker was really trying to communicate or if you were just creating a mere illusion. Another question that arises is if Walker was aware? Ian gives the reader a short story about walker. A teacher was guiding walker hands to paint; he tells us that walker seemed happy but then proceeds to question his state of mind. Was he really happy? Did he even know he was painting, was he aware of what he was doing? At the same school, the teachers explained that walker enjoyed other people as company, or at...
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