Mar 17, 2012

Holland or Disneyland

Emily Perl Kingsley wrote an essay, entitled Welcome to Holland, when she found out her son was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. A woman named Jill wrote a reply. 
I think both are interesting and lovely. 

Welcome to Holland
"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 Sistine Chapel, Gondolas. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After several 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 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. You begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. And 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 experience will never, ever, ever, go away. 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."

Jill compares her experience as going to the Magic Kingdom instead of Holland.
The whole reply by Jill: 


"Raising my child with a disability is like discovering freedoms, dreams, adventures, hopes and opportunities that I didn't know even existed.   And I can't get on the bandwagon fast enough. I can't buy up enough travel guides and maps and I devour each and every one. I go online and share with my new friends who have also been to the Magic Kingdom...I am happy. Encouraged. Delighted. Never alone. I have experienced depths of love deeper than what anyone ever told me I would. I never want to leave this place.
I am not supposed to be anywhere else on earth.
I have not experienced a loss of any kind."

I think those are both cool perspectives..........but on a level more applicable to life in general since I don't have any kids at all..............this applies to life in general!

Be happy, encouraged, and delighted with your life. Be you in Holland, Italy, or the Magic Kingdom.


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