Pearls and Dreams
Today, I'm going to post about being a mother, tomorrow, I think I'll post something about MY mom.
Tomorrow, in church, our worship leader is going to read "Welcome to Holland." She is going to dedicate it to certain moms. She asked if she included me, would it upset Benjamin. I said, no.
Then, she asked me to go copy it for her, she needed a copy to the pastor (her husband) and a pastor to the sound/light booth. The copy ..never made it to her desk. Not sure who was supposed to get it to her desk, but ..it didn't get there. So, I told her I could email it to her and copy it in the morning.
That made me go on a search to find it (not hard) ... but that also got me to thinking of my own trip to Holland. Before I explain, let me let you read what I'm talking about
WELCOME TO 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 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 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...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 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.
© 1987, by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved.
When you look at that story, I can't say that my step off into Holland with Benjamin was totally unexpected. We'd planned our trip with Samuel ... and while it wasn't quite the shock of Benjamin ... he still wasn't healthy, and it still wasn't what we'd expected to find. When you start your parenting experience putting your 16 day old child in the hospital with pneumonia, strep throat and 2 ear infections ... your world starts to tip upside down. Then when you realize that you're sick, and really sick, and your body isn't recovering and going back to what it was before the birth ... the world is spinning out of control. The fact that the plane didn't land in Italy again, was no big surprise.
But just how far away from Italy this plane landed ..was a surprise.
I've posted before about just how special of a kid Benjamin is. How much joy he's brought to our lives. I've posted about my fights to get him the services he needs. I've posted my heart and my frustrations. But it is impossible to explain just how rewarding it is to be this child's mother.
Other's can say what they will ... his lack of skills in whatever area ... his TS, his OCD, his ADHD ... his headaches, his stomach problems, his dizzy spells or his seizures ... they can point to all those deficits all day long ..all week long ..all month long ... all year long if they want to. Nothing will change the fact that when Benjamin laughs, God's grace has been shown to me. I've posted this poem before, and I will probably post it again. Mother's day might be to honor mom's ..but the reality is ... without Benjamin & Samuel ... motherhood would not mean what it does. Special needs and all ... tics, obessions, infections, learning problems, giftedness ... from swamp plant to cactus ... being their mother, makes my mother's day far more rewarding.
A Mother's Heart
by Peggikaye Eagler
Every mother had Dreams,
Of a Child perfect and whole.
Every mother has Hopes,
For perfection, body and soul.
They told me you’re not perfect,
Sweet loving child of mine.
They told me that your learning,
Is taking too much time.
They tell me that your tests came back,
Showing problems and low scores.
They tell me that you have to struggle,
This hurts me to the core.
Every mother has dreams,
They tell me you don’t fit.
Every mother has hopes,
They say perfection you won’t hit.
But they don’t see what I see,
The smile that lights your face.
But they don’t hear what I hear,
Your laughter reveals God’s grace.
They don’t see what I see,
My child loving and whole.
I have hopes and dreams,
Because my child you are a gift from God
And you have a PERFECT SOUL.
© Peggikaye Eagler