Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Welcome to Holland

Welcome to Holland

"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability, to try and 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.

"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.....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 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."

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