Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Welcome to Holland

A sweet blogger friend had this posted on her blog and I couldn't help but copy it. It's not that I have been struggling with being a mom to a special needs child lately, I think the reality of our situation is just becoming more apparent. I have been going through Elle's medical records to get them ready for taxes and evaluators and I am already using my third binder. Just little things that are our normal - they are our "Holland."
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 that 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 guide books 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 guide books. And 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 awhile and you catch your breath, you look around... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills... and 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, 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 get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, very lovely things... about Holland.
Elle had quite the eventful weekend...and once I get my nose out of Breaking Dawn, I will write all about it! Darn you Twilight Saga! So far, it's only taken me 3 days to read the first 3 books but I have a feeling #4 is going to take a few more...plus...when I read the 3rd book, I bought it at 6pm Sunday night and stayed awake until 2:30 Monday morning to finish it. Needless to say, I was beat the next day and went to bed at 10pm last night, fully clothed and didn't wake up until Lee got me up at 7am. Poor Elle will probably be glad when I get finished with these books because she has spent A LOT of time in her exersaucer lately!


Lindsey said...

You are an amazing mama, and Miss Elle is so lucky to have you!! I have noooo problem traveling to Holland- even MOVING to Holland- and would welcome you as a travel buddy any day! :) Thanks for sharing these realities. They're so important!

And yes, "Twilight" bit me too-- quite literally. I'd resisted them for SO long, and finally gave in. I'm close to finishing book 4 and am putting off the last 1/4 of the book. A near impossible feat, I know! I just don't want the stories to end yet. I knew we'd have a snow-day today so I spent almost all of Tuesday night reading my happy little heart out. Fortunate that I had the next day off, I'd gone to bed at 4! Oh man, oh man, oh man. I feel better about giving in now that I know you also are reading them!! lol

Jess said...

its not your fault the books so are so darn good. i have read the series twice now and actually finished for the second time the night before i had olivia... glad that things are going good... hope we can get together soon...

Candice said...

I've been a silent follower of your story since I found your link on a friend's blog when Elle was born. I've never commented but I regularly check up on Elle and Witt. The Holland story hits home for me. I have a 23 week preemie twin (now 18 months old) who is doing well but is very delayed. I think it's hard for people to understand all the "behind the scenes" work that goes into atypical babies like Rhys, Elle and especially Witt. The Holland story sums it up nicely, I might just have to borrow it from you! :)

God Bless! Candice

annalee said...

i have thought about this illustration so many times since reading it on your blog. i have shared it with several others too. thanks for posting it!
ps- can't wait to chat about twilight when you are done!!!

mrsrubly said...

lisha, i noticed you haven't posted on elle's blog. i remember that Witt is her cousin. so i jumped onto his page and boy i sure am so sorry that your family esp witt is going through this. i am happy to see that witt is off the vent, but the crash cart? o my heart is just breaking for mel and austan i will keep checkin' back for more updates. bless ya'll's heart! much hugs love and prayers.bonny