Monday, April 26, 2010

Why I Hated "Welcome to Holland"

Note the past tense here -- "hated."  I don't hate it anymore.  I don't mean to offend anyone who gets a great deal of comfort from that story.  I am willing to bet there are folks like me though, who were very turned off by it.  If you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about, here's a copy of it:

Within a week of my boys' diagnosis, someone brought me that story.  I just hated it from beginning to end.  I didn't want to go to Holland or Italy.  I wasn't that much of a traveller.  I just wanted to stay at home and bury my head under my pillow.  I thought Welcome to Beirut described how I felt about this whole situation much better.

I have two Dutch children and one Italian (translation -- two special needs, and one typically developing).  I can't live full-time in either country; I have to travel back and forth.  In Italy, my two Dutch children are overwhelmed and have a very tough time.  It's big, crowded, loud, and full of people who don't speak their language.  Holland, on the other hand, is very child-friendly so my little Italian child has a good time there, usually.  But it's slower-paced and less exciting than Italy and the older she gets, the more bored she is with Holland.

We have all gotten used to travelling, though.  We are finding ways to be comfortable in both Holland and Italy and to see the beauty in both places.  We are working on educating the Italians on what the Dutch people are like, because they aren't going to stay in Holland.  They are going to visit Italy frequently, and Italy just better get used to it~ because in the end we are all humans, who have to share this world with each other peacefully and with acceptance for other cultures.

And now, I'm stepping off my soapbox.  Thanks for listening.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I feel the same way! I have not found the story at all comforting, just sad. Your blog, on the other hand has given me a lot of comfort lately :-) My son also has fragile x full mutation, he's 15 months now. I have a daughter, almost five, who I suspect is at least a carrier. We've known about the whole thing since February. Still adjusting of course. Following your blog has been great because you make it sound like it really is not that bad after all. Let's not label the kids as Dutch or Italian, let's try and see the child behind the diagnosis.

And heck, let's be really glad for those kids, there are plenty of people who never get to fly anywhere, not Holland nor Italy! I for one am a huge fan of windmills :-) Have a wonderful springtime with the three monkeys.

fragilemom said...

Great entry. I did and still do like the Holland story. I, too, received it from someone after 1 of our 3 diagnoses (can't remember which one). Our children are all special by design and sometimes I actually find myself feeling sorry for those with only typical kids who don't get to experience the types of things we really making a BIG deal of every little thing....nothing taken for granted around here. Don't get me wrong, that feeling doesn't happen often. Many times I find myself in the "what I'm going to miss with my children" episodes. Can't hang around too often in either place.

You did a really great job expressing yourself on this entry. Very nicely written!


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