Thursday, November 15, 2012

Welcome to Holland!

At Kids on the Move (where we go for Ty's Early Intervention and preschool) they had this new picture up of a beautiful field of tulips that was obviously in Holland. Beside it was this sign with the following words, which were written by a mother of a special needs child back in 1987.

I love it!


WELCOME TO HOLLAND 

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 are going to have a baby, it's like planning 
a fabulous vacation trip--to Italy. You buy a bunch 
of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The 
Coliseum, the Michelangelo 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! I'm supposed to be in 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 guidebooks. And you 
must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a 
whole new group of people you would have never 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, 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 fo your life, 
you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. 
That's what I had planned." 

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

written by Emily Perl Kingsley

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