Sunday, 30 September 2007

raising a child with a disability - whats it like ?

This is a piece of writing by a lady named, Emily Perl Kingsley. Emily gave birth to a boy with down syndrome in 1974. With her husband Charles, they became activists, educating the public and developing resources to help children with special needs fulfill their full potential. Emily wrote "Welcome to Holland" in 1987.

WELCOME TO HOLLAND.
by Emily Perl Kingsley.
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. 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 have 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. Its 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 who 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 Rembrandt's.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy..... and they are all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say "yes, thats were 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 go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

1 comment:

FXSmom said...

this is absolutely one of my favorite analogies!!!