Saturday, August 11, 2007

Welcome to Holland

This was sent to me by a couple whose son was born with congenital toxoplasmosis. Read it!! It's appropriate for so many of us in so many different ways.

"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

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 never would 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

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

New flash: Zelda likes hills.

Apparently, according to our nanny, Zelda loves the hills at the park. She sits, she smiles and she rolls. Then, she does it again. I can't wait to see this. She is all about discovering her own unassisted movement but also, how she affects the movement of others. Another new favorite trick is to push us over and then pull us back up. Usually Evan will be sitting and she'll grab his shirt, smile and push. Then, when he's down, she'll pull him back up and repeat this several times. We'll say "Up" and "Down". She'll also stand between my knees and push them open and pull them closed. They say that toddlers like to perform repetitive actions in discovering their own forces upon the world. Creed will open and close drawers or doors. It's interesting that Zelda uses people.

It's difficult to photograph la petite Z because she often has her head down. But here's a photo from right after eye surgery - not too happy...but then, a few days later: woo-hoo! the towel dance!!!