Wednesday, November 23, 2011

#23 A Re-Post - Welcome to Holland #NHBPM

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've learned to love Holland.  I love all of the amazing people in Holland and I am a stronger woman because of my life here in Holland.







This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J

3 comments:

Michelle said...

Love this more each time I read it. I would have never asked for this trip to our Holland, but I have learned to love it too...and am so thankful for the amazing people I've met here!

Stephanie said...

Love it. I first was sent this poem when I was pregnant with Adam and we found out he had a cleft lip. So true then, and so true now. ((hugs))

And I hope that your little dude kept his pod on tonight!

NikDuck said...

Love this and it gets to me every time. Happy Thanksgiving!