Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Welcome to Holland

I stole this from my friend's blog...I told her I was stealing it, but didn't wait for permission, so I'm guessing that's stealing.

Anyway - what a wonderful adventure we are in. So few get to experience the amazing lifestyle of Holland...I'm so glad I get to.

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'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. 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 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.


Holly said...

what a cool word picture for those of us who haven't a clue - kinda makes you WANT to go to Holland ;-)

JLF said...

Yes, steal away sister ... Holland is fabulous ... I do love the tulips, so glad you are here with me.

Naomi said...

I didn't plan on going anywhere at all, but suddenly I ended up being dropped off and I haven't figured out where the heck I am yet. I do like the analogy- I'd like to visit Holland someday.

Stacy G. said...

Naomi- haha!! that's how I felt. 1st pregnancy I was asked to be in Holland and Italy at the same time, then with my 2nd pregnancy, I'd settled in Holland and was uprooted back to Italy without warning...ugh!

Heather said...

I agree with holly. I wish i was closser so i could visit holland and italy more often. You have taken part of the scarrieness away from taking the trip at all though You truely are my hero i love ya sis