Friday, December 19, 2008

Welcome to Holland

I wanted to share this poem with everyone that a girlfriend of mine recommended I read. Carter’s condition is making me look at life from a whole new perspective. I have been so scared since we found out because I am so unsure of his future. What are his medical concerns, will I be able to protect him, how will he be in school, will he ever get married? So many questions that my head is constantly spinning! Eric reminded me that we need to live in the now and not worry about 5 or 10 years from now. My girlfriend who also has a daughter with Autism said, just take it one day at a time, make it through the day, then the month, and then the year. I realize now that the future is unpredictable but we will make it just fine. I am now focusing on the new dreams we will build as a family and all of those dreams Carter will make come true.

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 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.


The Gibson's said...

I think that Eric put it have to live in the now. I can't imagine what you are going through, but just know that I love you and I'm here for you whenever you need it! Carter is lucky to have you!

Auntie Gina said...

You and Eric are a great team. I so want to see you to give you a hug and to hold that beautiful baby boy! Guess your Christmas socks will wait until next year but there is Valentine's, Chinese new years, St patty's day and I get to buy baby socks to match!visconiv
Can't wait to hold and cuddle baby Carter!

Auntie Gina said...

Still getting used to this blog thing- typed extra word-hee hee!

thuriks said...

Hi...I got to your blog from Katie Gibson's page. You are doing a wonderful job and look amazing for just having your beautiful boy! I love the poem, it's perfect.