Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Welcome to Holland

I had read this before; but read it now so differently, as a mom who's experiencing this...and I agree.
I'm speaking at a Women's event at the end of the month. If you know me you know how out of character THAT is. I dont do public speaking. Would much prefer to be behind the scenes. But I also remember early on in J's diagnosis, I told God if I ever got the opportunity to speak about our struggle and triumphs that I would. It was far to big of a part of our life not to share; and any opportunity I have to help others and share His love I wanted to do that. So I am. And am scared to death. So please pray for me March 30th. This story will be part of my talk, because, now, it's our story too.
And, by the way, we love Holland. We are thankful for it. We don't want to be anywhere else.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

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.

Labels:

3 Comments:

Blogger Sherrily said...

I love that story, Tara. I wish we could have slowed down to enjoy being in "Holland" when Austin was young and newly diagnosed with Tourette's...boy was that a wild ride! Enjoy the unique-ness of everyday with a child with special needs. Oh...and don't forget to laugh!

3/10/2010 7:05 PM  
OpenID katiecottle said...

Thanks for sharing! I don't have a special needs child yet (or at least don't know it), but it is a reminder that each child is special and that we aren't to keep up with the Joneses!!!
Love,
Katie

3/10/2010 8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TARA, THAT STORY IS SUCH A GOOD DESCRIPTION OF YOUR JOURNEY. I LOVE HOLLAND TOO AND CAN'T WAIT TO EXPLORE ALL OF THE HIDDEN TREASURES IT HAS TO OFFER. LOVE YOU ALL. JOY

3/11/2010 11:17 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home