Thursday, April 17, 2008
Current mood: ashamed
I have a friend who had a baby not long after Vinnie was born. I said congratualtions and that has been about it. I hope she understands that I love her more than anything and I am so happy that you has this new baby in her life. I also hope that she understands that right now all I can do is say congratulations, I can't bring myself to do much more right now even though I want to look at all the pictures and ask about the baby. I am being selfish but I know/hope that my friend will still be there when I come around. So here it is, how I feel.
I will start off with the essay that I am pretty sure I have posted before.
Welcome to Holland
By Emily Pearl 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 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.
So, you see. I feel left behind. I am in one country and you are in another. We were suppose to make this trip to Italy together, we were suppose to be able to talk about the sites and future visits. We were suppose to compare notes. So, here I am stuck in Holland and it IS beautiful here and I wouldn't take Italy now even if I could. But, the loss of Italy still hurts and will for some time. While I love you and your baby I hope that you understand that right now I am in my own little world of Down syndrome and I will soon pop my head out to say hello but for now, understand that I am here in Holland and you are so very far away in Italy.