Emily Pearl Kingsley "Welcome to Holland" .. Read this poem!

[deleted account] ( 4 moms have responded )

I don't know how many moms have already came across this poem, but i had found it one day and [after i got done crying] decided i needed to keep it close by. Hope you enjoy [and that no one is offended]!


"Welcome to Holland"
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 Pearl Kingsley

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Dawn - posted on 03/30/2013

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I've always loved this essay. ... It makes me think of my own life journey.. I "traveled" to Italy ever so briefly up until I was a kingergartener and then I boarded on other trains, planes and automobiles to various other locales. Each place is different, with different customs and scenery, tourists routes, but I've been very blessed to meet many compassionate people along the way - whether they were also passengers as I, or the most helpful tourguides and planners offering advice and suggestions on places to visit and people to meet along the way. ... Dawn R. from Texas. ;-)
http://www.sensorycritters.com/Stories/E...

Erica - posted on 07/14/2011

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I love the Welcome to Holland poem. One of my daughters therapist told me about it and when I read it, I was overcome with emotion. I cant even recite it without tearing up. It hit so incredibly close to home and made me see our life in a whole new light. Having a special needs child is extremely hard on the heart. Some days I don't know which way is up and which way is down. I guess Im still getting used to being in "Holland." Ive only been here for almost 3 years and the hardest thing I still have trouble with is all of the people who's children are younger than mine that are walking, talking, potty-trainning. And like the poem says, it'll always be a spot in your heart for that. But you have to enjoy the life you have and spend little time worrying about Italy :) Thanks for posting this. I always LOVE to read it!

[deleted account]

thanks, i didn't write it, but i found a few years ago. It's something i keep close by. And since i am new to this website, i thought i could share the Welcome to Holland poem. I'm glad that you enjoyed it. It also makes me cry!!

Melanie - posted on 07/29/2010

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thank you for your Beautiful poem!!
i read with tears in my eyes as you described my feelings exactly,
i hope you dont mind but i used your poem as an example in a new conversation i started. my Son is Italy & my 2 Daughters are Holland :)
happy days to you and yours

Erica - posted on 07/14/2011

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I love the Welcome to Holland poem. One of my daughters therapist told me about it and when I read it, I was overcome with emotion. I cant even recite it without tearing up. It hit so incredibly close to home and made me see our life in a whole new light. Having a special needs child is extremely hard on the heart. Some days I don't know which way is up and which way is down. I guess Im still getting used to being in "Holland." Ive only been here for almost 3 years and the hardest thing I still have trouble with is all of the people who's children are younger than mine that are walking, talking, potty-trainning. And like the poem says, it'll always be a spot in your heart for that. But you have to enjoy the life you have and spend little time worrying about Italy :) Thanks for posting this. I always LOVE to read it!

[deleted account]

thanks, i didn't write it, but i found a few years ago. It's something i keep close by. And since i am new to this website, i thought i could share the Welcome to Holland poem. I'm glad that you enjoyed it. It also makes me cry!!

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