"When you're through changing, you're through."
Welcome to Holland
By Emily Pearl 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 your'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,
Michaelangelo's David, the gondolas of 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!"
The stewardess replies, "There's been a change in the flight plan. We've landed in
Holland and it is here 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 is just a different place. So, you must go and
buy new guidebooks. You must learn a whole new language. You will meet a whole new group
of people you would never had met. It is just a different place. It is slower-paced than
Italy, less flashy than Italy, but after you have been there while and you catch your
breath, you look around and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has
tulips, Holland even has Rembrants. 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 is what
I had planned."
The pain of that will never, ever, ever go away because the loss of that dream is a 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
can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness."
"It takes both rain and
sunshine to make a rainbow."