Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Welcome to Holland!

I read this on 3 blogs yesterday and 1 today and then a friend also emailed it to me last night - I think it is a sign that I need to post it too.

Welcome to Holland

by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience, to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. Michelangelo's David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland ?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland ?? I signed up for Italy! All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills... and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say: "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things... about Holland.

Copyright © 1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley
All Rights Reserved

I am working on embracing Holland!!

6 comments:

cdejulius said...

I am joining you in holland and will embrace it too . . .so will Poppa!

Joanne said...

You will get there... I promise. Plus there are so many cool people in Holland.

Meri said...

Once you get well versed in the customs and ways of Holland it will feel more like home. :)

My oldest is in the Trial Net...it feels really good when you get back the results and all is well. One less thing to worry about!

Love your background! Holland is prettier because you are here! (I'll stop with the metaphors now...I know, it's a little too much :)

Wendy said...

Holland is better than Italy.

Cuz we all have each other :)

Diannia said...

I'm with you, too, Little Lamb.

Hallie said...

Hi Laura!
Saw your posts on other blogs and came to "meet" you! My 3 year old daughter was diagnosed in April. Holland can be hard - very hard. There are still days where I look and say, "is this my life? what happend to my life?" There are still days when I'm sad, and mad, and overwhelmed, and just DONE. I'm always tired!! But it gets easier. And there are many days where I'm glad, too! Holland isnt so bad. Just different. It makes you realize how precious life is! What can be bad about that? Plus, there is amazing support in Holland! Glad to meet you!