Welcome to Holland
(aka The Beauty of 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 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,
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 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 get to Italy,
you may never be free to
enjoy the very special, the
very lovely things about Holland.

What a beautiful trip it was with Trent.
We loved Holland.
Mama, Dada, and Big Sister Lindsay






e-mail Trent's mom


1998 - 2015

Graphics And
Memorial Plaque
by Rose Mary