Thursday, June 30, 2011

Little Houses, Churches, Temples and.........Holland??

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 guidebooks 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 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 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 many never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

I had a completely different post written for my blog today.  But when I read the above essay, one that I have read several times before, I decided to change it a bit.
This is something that is seen in many a little boy's bedroom.
Sam loves his trains, but really loves making elaborate train track systems.
Samuel has an "I Spy" game and a "Connect 4" game.
He lines all the "I Spy" pieces up along the piano, sofa and end tables.  Then, the red "Connect 4" pieces are precisely placed above the "I Spy" pieces.
 Samuel has some little plastic bears that he loves to play with.
I tend to step on them.......I don't love them as much as Samuel loves them.
 Little plastic bears are lined up all over the house in groups of 3.
Purple, green and red.
The other bears are left on the table......out in the cold.
 Blocks are also lined up.
 Samuel does like to build as well.
This is Sam's creation from last night.  We asked him what it was and he replied, "A church."
This one is a, "Cool temple."
When Samuel gets home from school, he makes his rounds, checking on all his creations and making sure everything is in its place.

When I saw all the houses lined up, it reminded me of a song that the music teacher taught our class in Primary School.
"Little Boxes" by Malvina Reynolds
 "Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky-tacky,
Little boxes, little boxes,
Little boxes, all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same"

When the teacher taught us this song, I had no idea what it all meant.
Somehow, it seems to fit into my blog today.

We have raised our children to be individuals, not to do something just because everyone else is doing it.  My Mum would always say, "If so and so put their bum on the fire, would you do it as well?"  I would often find myself saying that to my children.

So, I guess we are not really an Italy type family in the long run.
Not sure if I am getting my point across or not........

That being said.
Our trip may have taken a unexpected detour.
But, when I look at all the
"very special, the very lovely things"
that make up the personality of my little boy,
how can I not enjoy it?


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