I often go through months or days/weeks of time just going through the motions of being mom to a disabled child forgetting how different it is to the every day life of most families. The schedule is crazy and yes-things slip through the cracks at times but my kids are most important in life.
Then there are the days I feel isolated and lonely in the crowd knowing my child will never be just like all the others and watching friends/peers outgrow whatever stage in life we are in. I need things like this story to help me realize that I'm not the only one and also that even though our journey is different, its beautiful none the less!
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 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
am supposed to be in Italy. All my life I have 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
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 did not get to Italy,
you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely