Perhaps these words of understanding and encouragement are what you need today.
Emily Perl Kingsley writes
"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 guidebooks 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 some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. 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."
The pain of that will never, 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
Have a great weekend!
As is our custom this time of year, we are seeking nominations of teachers, or other school personnel, for our Reagan Sisters Excellence in Education award. We hope that you’ll take the time to send us a nomination if you have had an especially good teacher (or counselor, principal, speech therapist, etc.) during the past school year. We want to reach out to the schools and to recognize those educators who really believe all kids can learn, who go the extra mile to assist and to challenge our kids in special education, those who have made sure that parents are kept in the information loop and have been well-informed as to the progress their son or daughter has made.
The person nominated can be a special education teacher, or a general education teacher. He or she can hold other positions—such as one of those listed above. The important thing is that they have been helpful to your child and supportive of you as the parent. This is a parent nomination. Send us a paragraph or two describing how the person has helped your child. Also, please send us the person’s full name, position at school, and the name of the school and the name of the principal at the school. If you know it, the address of the school (or phone number) would also help us.
You can email us the information to firstname.lastname@example.org and you can call us at 479-927-4100. You can also mail it to us at 614 E. Emma, Suite 219, Springdale, AR 72764. Thanks for taking the time to help us recognize outstanding school personnel in our area. We will notify you, if your nominee is selected.
Family Support Director
Arkansas Support Network
Staff of the Northwest Arkansas Community Parent Resource Center (including original content as well as curated links to various authors around the web.)