I have been reading ALOT lately. Books on parenting, books on living, books on schedules (see previous post), books on children, books on hearing impairment and on disabilities.
'Cause while I don't see Nolan as disabled the world does... The school district does, his audiologist does, the kids do, my parents do hell the whole family does. They may not say it that way (or they just may) and they may not want to discuss it with me (which hurts almost as bad) but they do. It is a fine line to walk and I am crossing back and forth on a daily basis... I read this the other day and I had to share it. It pretty much sums up alot of the way I am feeling here lately.
WELCOME TO HOLLAND
by Emily Perl 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’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. Michelangelo’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! 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. 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, 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.
I think the passage speaks for itself. I'm not missing out on Holland but I want people to realize that Italy just isn't going to happen. No matter how badly I want it to.
Keepin' It Real,