Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Autism Awareness Day

I'm blessed to be the mom of one pretty amazing boy.
We've been through our trials,
(which continue everyday),
but I know that our journey has served a purpose.
This essay really captures the feelings and experiences of 
so many special needs families.
It's well-known in disabilities circles,
but I'm not sure that typical folks have enjoyed it.
I hope this gives you an idea of what life is like
for those of us dealing with (sometimes) extraordinary challenges. 
As the latest numbers suggest,
it ain't gettin' better. 

Welcome to Holland
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. 
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 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.

But everyone you know 

is busy coming and going from Italy... 
and they're all bragging about 
what a wonderful time they had there.


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

***Please use a blue light in your lamp post for the month of April
to support Lil' Guy and others living with autism.  Thanks.***