Sunday, February 26, 2012

Holland is Beautiful!

Have you read this before?

"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 Sistine Chapel, Gondolas. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting. After several 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 guidebooks. 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. You begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. And 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 experience will never, ever, ever, go away. 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."

This was written in 1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley...let's see, in 1987 I was engaged to my husband, planning to marry the following New Years and start a family right away. In my plans, we would quickly have a house full of children, whom I would stay home with and homeschool. Each of them would be perfectly well mannered, talented at something and always say "Yes, Ma'am" and "No, Ma'am". They would never disobey, never lie or do anything to embarrass me in public and never yell at me and call me an idiot!!

You see, I had made my plans. I was going to Italy, and no mistake about it!

So, what happened? How is it that I find myself in Holland with a special needs child who does not speak the language I know? What do I do with this child God has given me, who yells at me and calls me names. Who hits me and lashes out in anger. Who does not save his theatrics for home, but will explode just about anywhere, for who knows how long. This child. This child does NOT speak Italian!

This child. This child with the amazing green eyes. This child with a sense of humor that has me laughing every day. This child who knows things beyond his years. Who has endured things I don't even want to contemplate. Who has an inner strength and fortitude that is formidable. This child who loves his Mommy. Whose favorite place after a big explosion is curled up in Mommy's lap. This child speaks Dutch.

Guess what? I am starting to learn Dutch. I have thrown out my Italian language books, my Fromer's guides, my links to good Italian restaurants. I am developing a taste for bread and herring, for cheese and sausage. I am learning to love living in a place I never wanted to go. I am beginning to accept that Holland is exactly the place for us.