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WELCOME TO HOLLAND... an analogy written by a mother of a child with special needs

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    WELCOME TO HOLLAND... an analogy written by a mother of a child with special needs

    this analogy written by a mother of a child
    with special needs...

    WELCOME TO HOLLAND



    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 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, 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 guidebooks. And you
    must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a
    whole new group of people you would have never 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, 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 fo your life,
    you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go.
    That's 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 get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy
    the very special, the very lovely things about
    Holland.

    written by Emily Perl Kingsley


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