Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bring on the Tulips!

While I continue to work on my post about the day after Luke was born, I thought I would share a poem several of you may already be familiar with.
We came home from the hospital with a bag full of information about Down syndrome.  I looked at that bag on my dresser every day and even peeked inside a few times before finally opening it after a week or so.  This poem was the first thing I read.  It is actually quite fitting.  I have always thought Holland would be a fun place to travel to.   I own a pair of wooden shoes (thanks Mom!) and think windmills are pretty great!   Who says Holland can't be flashy?

I say - bring on the tulips!

      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. 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 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.


  1. Wow. That is absolutely beautiful. It is such a wonderful reminder that God creates and PURPOSES beauty in the paths we haven't planned to take, and the places we end up but we didn't intend to go to. Places we would not have chosen for ourselves before we went there. But, many years down the road, we would not have wanted to miss for anything in the world.

  2. A wonderful way of viewing this new adventure in your lives.

  3. Beautiful, honest and true, Claire.


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