Sunday, September 13, 2009


Over the past year or so, I have run across the story/parable that I have posted below countless times in a variety of places. It is a "mantra" of sorts with parents of special needs children, and makes a whole lot of sense to those of us that love our children dearly, but never imagined ourselves walking in these shoes. In any case, I applaud the author. She "nailed" it perfectly with "Welcome to Holland". If you've never seen it before........enjoy. If you it again and take it to heart. -Beth

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

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