Sunday, November 04, 2007

Special Needs Kids - Italy or Holland Enjoy the sights!

The other day I had been feeling kind of down. I felt like I was losing at the game of Life. I was feeling overwhelmed (I HATE that feeling). Over the last few weeks, I've had a few dreams die....BUT that leaves room for new dreams.

Since then, I have reminded myself that my spiritual armor is always there just WAITING for me to use it. (Ephesians 6:10-18, next post) So as I put on my shoes of peace and grab my shield of faith, I believe I was led to an explanation that helped me make it through that day...and those that follow.

I wrote the part between the ===== to the resource room teacher when I found the following as I felt it would help some other parents as well.

I found out later that Emily Perl Kingsley (the author) had a Downs Syndrome son and wrote for Sesame Street among other things. Further info I found out is listed at the bottom. I believe these words can cover many disabilities - visible or not.
I was clicking to check something else, but this was at the top. I think I
was supposed to read this today. I believe this explains things pretty
well. Guess part of the hard part is realizing I'm in Holland....and the
special needs aren't always visible which makes it hard for others to
understand sometimes.
Found on
Encouragement Story
Parenting a Special Needs Child

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 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 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 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, the very lovely things
about Holland.
Emily Pearl Kingsley’s article has been widely circulated in support groups and medical circles.Please credit as follows: As published in “That All May Worship and Serve,” July, 2002, as published on the United Church of Christ Disabilities Ministries web site at Most recent contact information for Emily Pearl Kingsley: 12 Justine Ct Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510-2534 (914) 923-2995

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