Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Beauty of Holland

I have been either glued to the phone or the internet looking up and researching articles, videos and blogs about Riley's hearing, cochlear implants and everything in between. I love to blog and love to read other blogs. I came across quite a few blogs families that have documented their cochlear implant journey and I will have to say it has been so uplifting.

Many of them had this story on their blog, describing raising a child with a disability (which is still hard for me to grasp) and it really got me thinking. This story was written by Emily Pearl Kingsley, a Sesame Street writer whose child was born a on.....

"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 guidebooks and make your wonderful vacation plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very, 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 flight attendant 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 landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible 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 while new group of people that you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you have been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills. 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 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 go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland."

The first time I read this I cried...and cried. I have mixed emotions about this story because even though Josh and I are in Holland..NOW I know we can still go to Italy.


  1. I don't have any experience or knowledge of cochlear implants (all I can think of is Rush Limbaugh? Did he even have one or am I crazy?) but I do know many relatives and friends that have gone to "Holland" and what a beautiful metaphor for that journey. I know its tough, but maybe blogging more about it will help? xoxo friend, you are stronger than you might think!

  2. Thank you very much for your kind words. It helps more than you know.