Monday, 26 October 2009


Well many of you especially my facebook friends will already know, life has not been great for me emotionally this last week or so....... for no particular reason really...... just feeling "down in the dumps".  I suppose sometimes the future seems a scary place to consider even though Emily is doing amazingly well at the moment - these down periods just come from nowhere.

I know I will bounce right back again I always do......... I also know that my positiveness will re-appear....... I also know my feelings are pretty normal and any parent with a disabled / special need child will confirm that.

Which takes me to my heading of this post "Holland" - again most of the parents with special needs children will be VERY familiar with this poem, I couldn't have described the feeling any more accurately than the way this poem describes it...... please read, it's moving but oh boy so very true.....

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 the unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel.  It's like this:

When you are 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 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 flight attendant comes and says "Welcome to Holland".  "Holland?" you say, "what do you mean, Holland?  I signed up for Italy, all my life I've dreamed of going to Italy".

But there's been a change in the 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, filty place full of pestilence, famine and disease ~ it's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guidebooks.  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 a while and you catch your breath, you look around and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, 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 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 get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.



  1. Happy to be your neighbor here in Holland.

  2. I'm thankful to have met some lovely people (although thousands of miles apart) whom are better neighbors than the one actually attached to my house!!!!!!
    Thank you Christina xx