Holland?

I am reading this one blog on a daily basis, and today the owner of theblog posted some comments on my site saying “Welcome to Holland”, and I had no clue what she meant. At first I thought “she must be on the wrong page’ then I looked back at her page and found a link to Holland/Take a Walk in the Tulips, and here is the story behind it (http://www.creativeparents.com/Holland.html Emily Perl Kinglsey):

WELCOME TO HOLLAND
by Emily Perl Kingsley
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 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’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.

Let’s just say that me and Bookie are definitely ready for our trip to Holland. We still have a lot to learn and many places to visit, but I am sure that we will find family and friends there to help us along the journey and guidebooks to buy… And wasn’t Vincent Van Gogh Dutch?

5 Responses

  1. That’s a beautiful analogy. You have a beautiful baby, too!

  2. I’ve only just noticed the link back to this post, and I guess it must have been written shortly after Vince’s birth.

    I’ve read this Welcome to Holland essay a few times, In fact I think you reprinted it recently, but to be honest it never sat particularly comfortable with me, but I wasn’t sure why.

    Then recently I read Farewell to Holland – http://www.angelfire.com/in4/farewelltoholland/ and it struck a much deeper chord.

    I wondered if you’d seen it.

  3. My son Hunter James Ross was born April 2nd, 2008. 12 days ago! I still can’t believe it. He is the most amazing, stunning, wonderful thing i have ever seen in my life. He too has trisomy 21. I spent 4 days in hospital after an emergency induction and then c-section due to complications. Over those 4 days i had alot of time to cry and laugh and cry and moan. And then I read the story “Holland” that you have here. And my life and my mind have changed. I have started packing for Holland and learning dutch. My girl friend sent me the link to your blog and i think, as time goes on I will spend alot of my time here with you. Thank you for posting this beautiful story. It will forever make my heart warm.

  4. Came upon your page..most likely lead by the angels whom have been around since my t21 son was born 32 years ago. The writing, “Holland” inspired and gave me strength. I published it in my book. Prince Vince, so beautiful and I look forward to reading your blog. Thanks for sharing.

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