Even though I normally only review books for children or young adults, I jumped at the chance to read and review Tom Watson’s new book, ‘Man Shoes, The Journey to Becoming a Better Man, Husband and Father’. As a foster parent myself, I love to read inspiring true stories of former foster children who have beat the odds and went on to break the cycle of abuse and neglect.
As Tom Watson describes in his book, he definitely had a rough start to life. By the time he was five years old, he had already been in 13 different foster homes and suffered severe neglect and abuse, both at the hands of his biological family and from some of the foster homes that were supposed to be helping him. Mercifully, at the age of five, Tom finally found a real home, one that would eventually adopt him. The Watson family showed Tom all of the love, acceptance, kindness and support that he had always lacked.
Of course, no child changes overnight, so over the remainder of his childhood, Tom struggled with many of the same issues many other children with traumatic backgrounds endure. Even with the love and support of a stable home, it wasn’t until many years later that Tom Watson started to really change from the inside. With the help of his wife and later his own children, Tom finally grew into the person that he was always meant to be, a great man, husband and father.
Of course, no life journey is without its tragedies and failures, but overall this story is an inspiring, beautiful story about healing and the search for a better way of life. This book touched my heart in a way that is rarely achieved, and gave me hope that the children I am sharing my life with will have the opportunity to grow into the kind of adults I know they could be. Tom Watson is a great example of what loving foster and adoptive parents hope to do for the life of a hurting child.
I would definitely recommend this book to any parent or spouse, regardless of whether they come from a background like Tom’s. I truly believe that anyone could find encouragement and wisdom within the pages of this great memoir.