Tag Archives: Special needs

Monday Musings about My Life…

This is youngest in one of the cool polos Top Golf provided for him to wear at his new job there! He also has a black polo and a super nice black lined jacket.

He’s polishing silverware, folding napkins and bundling the silverware into rolls. And he absolutely loves it so far. Apparently people stop by and say hi all the time, his boss gave him a certificate for a free meal there (and he gets to golf for free), and he loves the music they play…

My new job is being the mom bus driving him a couple times a week when he works. He applied for a reduced rate bus pass and through our township, we can arrange for a van to take him to and from work at a fairly reasonable cost. Don’t want to throw too many changes at him at once so we will start that soon.

Bottom line, as anyone with a special needs child knows, if he’s happy, then I’m happy!

Holland…

WELCOME TO HOLLAND

by
Emily Perl Kingsley

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

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.

 

Emily Perl Kingsley is an American writer who joined the Sesame Street team in 1970 and has been writing for the show ever since. Her son Jason Kingsley was born with Down Syndrome in 1974.

I’ve written about my son who was born with a cleft lip and palate, cerebral palsy and developmental delays before.  This poem captures the feelings I’ve had for 30 years since his birth…