Friday, August 20, 2010

Welcome to Holland

A friend of mine shared this with me, and I thought I would post it. Although many may not consider The Chubs as having a disability, there are many similarities due to the extra care she requires. She is also 1/4 dutch so it's fairly fitting :)


by Emily Perl Kingsley

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.

For us Holland may only turn out to be an extra side trip and we very well could still make it to Italy but I would never ever change going to Holland for anything in the world.


  1. Do you ever go to It's a GREAT blog. She talks about this piece a lot as she has a special needs child. Very well written & I can see what you mean about it being fitting for the Chubs. I'm sorry to hear she lost weight. I am, however, dying to see a picture of that tooth!

  2. Good thing your husband is half Dutch! I've also heard that Italian men are sexist and hit on hot married women. Don't want to go there! :D

  3. So very touching! It is both sad and hopeful.

    Love you!