March 15th, 2009

puffin

"Welcome to Holland" by Emily Perl Kingsley

I spotted this posted on an LJFriend's LJ in a friends-only/FO/flocked/friends-locked post and just had to repost it here. I have also pasted the comment that I left there below this.

        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 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 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.

My comment/reply:

This is beautiful. It is also applicable to my life with MS despite not having children. I wanted to *BE* Italy but have had to get used to being Holland instead. Thank you for posting this.
magic-loop

iKnit Weekender ticket bought!

iKnit Weekender, Fri 11th and Sat 12th Sept, 2009

Hoping to see stitchlinks there and am starting to organise crash-space for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights (in lieu of traveling up Friday morning, staying in a Travelodge Saturday night and traveling home on Sunday evening - which is likely to KILL me! One option would be three nights at the Travelodge, I guess.