LOVE THAT BOY:
WHAT TWO PRESIDENTS, EIGHT ROAD TRIPS, AND MY SON TAUGHT ME ABOUT A PARENT’S EXPECTATIONS
Ron Fournier, Author
Harmony Books, April 2016
Paperback: 219 pages (978-0804140485)
Genre: Non- Fiction/Family & Relationships/Parenting
When a woman is pregnant, we say she is expecting. Expecting a baby and filling with expectations…Parenthood is the last chance to be the person we hoped to be. We want to get it right. We want it to be perfect, and that’s the problem. It’s a hard slog between aspiration and realization. Ron Fournier
Several weeks after I finished Love That Boy I was unsure of how I felt about the book. Since I laid down my paperback ARC copy, and began reflecting on the impact the book had on me, Ron Fournier has appeared on several TV programs promoting the book often with short video clips with his son, Tyler.
My first impression of the book was mixed. I had expected a straight forward biography based on the subtitle…What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips, and My Son Taught Me About A Parent’s Expectations. I am glad I gave myself time to let my thoughts marinate because I have grown deeply affected by the book.
Ron Fournier was a successful White House correspondent caught up, in his words, “an ego-inflating career that I often put ahead of my wife and kids“. His youngest child, Tyler, arrived with a bright, loving and funny disposition. His precocious vocabulary and professorial demeanor left no doubt that he would have a bright and successful life. But there was another side to Tyler. Publicly Tyler would exhibit an “inappropriate” social awkwardness that made Ron uncomfortable and embarrassed.
As time went on it became obvious the idealized image and expectations for Tyler’s life didn’t match up against reality. Tyler’s awkward social behavior had only increased much to his parents’ dismay which led to frustration and family disharmony.
The turning point for all their lives began the night that Lori Fournier discovered, while watching a TV Series entitled Parenthood, that Tyler shared the same characteristics as the child on the program. She was immediately knew Tyler “would not outgrow it.” Shortly thereafter Tyler, at age 12, was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Ron takes the reader on his journey of discovery to understand Asperger’s. Utilizing Tyler’s love of history and the need for father and son to spend time in each other’s company, they visit historic settings across the country.
Ron fills in the spaces of his family’s story with information and knowledge meant to enhance the lives every family; not just those challenged with a special needs child.
When I stopped trying to figure out why Ron skipped back and forth between Tyler, the medical professionals, and the personal stories of the community, I realized that story wasn’t as disjointed as it first appeared. Ron was sharing his own story as it unfolded for him. Step by step we are drawn into heart of this fabulous Fournier family. You can’t help yourself… you WILL love that boy.
Thank you, Ron Fournier and Harmony Books for the ARC paperback through Shelf Awareness. The receipt of this paperback in no way influenced my review. Around the same time I received the ARC I was granted an e-galley version by Harmony books via Edelweiss.