Thursday, February 18, 2010

Welcome to Holland

Something to really think about...

Welcome To Holland

by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with 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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday Menu

Dotter:  Guess what? We had fishwich sandwiches today!

Me:  Oh, did you have them for Lent?

Dotter:  No. We had them for lunch.


Me: If I was younger I'd totally learn to snowboard.

V:  You could still learn. You just wouldn't recover very quick when you crashed.

Me: [silently stare V down to make him as humanly uncomfortable as possible]

Monday, February 15, 2010

Keeping it simple.

Sometimes you have to think outside the box to get your point across. Other times you just pull stuff out of your rear and it works out like you've been doing some creative planning. Last night, I pulled. No, I yanked.

Three and a half weeks is far too long for clean clothes to be crumpled up on a bedroom floor and trampled on. Teenager or not, it was time to get serious. The Bean has two dressers and the largest closet in the house, yet she utilizes none of these to house her clothes. Apparently the floor should suffice. This drives me crazy because the second you walk into the house you see straight through the kitchen into her bedroom. It's well known that my mental stability rests solely on whether or not the room is a disaster.

I've given her several options:

1. Keep said room clean and organized.

2. Shove all clothing items under the bed and in the closet to give an overall appearance of "clean and organized."

3. Keep door closed at all times. Only enter/exit when I am not in a position to view interior disorganization.

4. Switch bedrooms with Dotter and have her suffer the ongoing stress of attempting to keep the room clean and organized.

5. Move to a basement bedroom.

Plain and simple: Whoever is in that room shall keep it appearing clean and organized.

And so it was with great annoyance that yet another sun was to set on six loads of clothes blanketing the bedroom floor. So, I did what any great mother would do: I filled garbage bags full of clothing from the bedroom floor and hauled them downstairs. I positioned myself near the seven loads of dirty laundry the Bean has had down there since August. I emptied the three (yes, three) garbage bags of clothes and dumped them on top of the waiting loads of laundry. And then I tossed everything together like a salad. I mixed everything together. Yes, I did.

The rule is easy: Do a load of laundry. Put the clean load of laundry away. When it has been proven that the clothes are properly stored and there is sufficient room for more, another load may be washed. Continue until maximum storage has been met.