For Those Of Us In Holland

I thought I would share this with all of you--and I must say that no matter what, I love Holland; I am better for what it has taught me and even luckier for those who have traveled there with me.

I take it directly from a post on a list serve of mine:

Emily Kingsley wrote this in 1987 to describe her personal feelings on having a child with a disability, a lot of people feel this but don't know how to express it, I have seen many people ask for it in various stages of my life, and come across it in a book and thought Id post it here for future reference.

Welcome to Holland-

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. Its 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 flight plans. 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 never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you have 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 go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things....about Holland.

Emily Perl Kingsley, 1987

1 comment:

Dayna Camp said...

I absolutely love this story! The other special needs mom at our church read it outloud in church one Sunday night. Then I found it on the internet and put it on my blog too. I think I will get a sign made and framed to put up in my house to help me remember regularly that Holland is also a wonderful place!