Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Handling Disappointment - perfect for those with challenging children

Someone shared with me this analogy about the disappointment that comes when you have a child with any kind of health or behavioral problems, either at birth or later on in life. And I would encourage you to pass this on to anyone who may be in this situation. But I have been thinking all morning about how this analogy really applies to all of the plans that we make for ourselves in life.

"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 Sistine Chapel, Gondolas. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After several 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 is that your plane didn't crash or anything like that.....you were just taken to 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. You begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. And 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 experience will never, ever, ever, go away. 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."

Can I get an Amen?


The Immoral Matriarch said...

This hits very close to home because of Bella. Thanks for sharing.

katef - www.picklebums.com said...

Ah that is so very true... I am still coming to terms with the fact that I have twins (let alone all the other issues they had/have) four years later!

Beth is wfg said...

Yeah, that's a good analogy.

Pink Lemonade Liz said...

I've had this little blurb pasted on the front of the binder that I take to all of Collette's IEP's - It helps to remind me that no matter what, things are better than I think they are.

Thanks for sharing it with others because it is sooo true!

Stacy said...

That's beautiful, brought tears to my eyes.

baby~amore' said...

I have seen this before and it is so true - thanks for the reminder.
I love your new header !

Grace said...

Amen Sister!

A saw a lot of agreement but not and actual "amen"...I can't help it...I'm southern & a preacher's kid it just couldn't be held in!

It is very true...I am new to your blog, but not new to this feeling...my son has Asperger's Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and while his case is extremely mild it is still challenging, but I've also learned a lot...and some of that has helped his dad and I be better parents to him and his (I guess "Italian") sister.