Saturday, June 11, 2011


I read this poem when Master S was a new baby.

I had been thinking about it lately as I'd forgotten the words.

I just found it now and thought I'd share it with you.

A Trip to Holland

Emily "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

I'm grateful today and every day to be a mama to the three most amazing children in the world.  

Much Love Rach xo


  1. Wow. This is really lovely Rach. Thank you for sharing. gxo

  2. Very well put! It would be a shame to miss the beauty of Holland.

  3. What a truly beautiful poem!!


  4. This is truly special...can I share it with my writing buddies next week? Our theme is 'teacher' and this is about teaching a life lesson so rather apt, love an hugs as always, TK xx

  5. This is great...I reckon I have read it some place before. It's spot on!

  6. I remember breaking down in tears to my sons prep teacher... and after a hug she handed this to read.... and I have remembered it ever since ;)

  7. Wow, I have shivers up and down my whole body.
    What a great piece to have and it sure puts a whole lot of things into perspective.
    I hope you and your gorgeous family have had the most wonderful weekend.
    And a HUGE goodluck for tomorrow. You'll be fab, I know it. x



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