Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Taking a Detour

I was having a little trouble this week deciding on what to post next.  After all, although I have over 15 years of “adventures” to share with you, not all are as humorous and memorable.  I certainly wouldn’t want to appear as if our life is just full of Mr. Bean antics all the time.

I believe I mentioned sharing all my wisdom, knowledge, insights and theories in my first posting and I’m sure you’ve been waiting with eager anticipation for something wise and insightful.  While this isn’t something I’ve written, I absolutely LOVE this story!  I first read it shortly after R was diagnosed with autism and although it isn’t directly about R, I never would’ve read it without him.  This put into words exactly how I was feeling at the time.

When I read it now I don’t cry any more; I realize how very lucky I am to have friends who don’t brag; time does help with the loss of anyone near and dear to us; and although I’ve never been to Holland…detours are just part of the adventure.  Enjoy!

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.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

Think about it…D

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