Friday, August 5, 2011

The Slow Boat to Amsterdam

You know that essay?  The one called Welcome to Holland? 

The one that every parent or sibling of someone with special needs is sent once (or more than once) in their lives?

I have never really liked it.  And, although I am not the parent of someone with special needs (well, actually, saying that is a little complicated and not entirely true-I'll just leave it at that as the person in question is very private and I respect that) that essay has always bugged me in a way I can't explain.  I guess it comes down to:  it tells about the beginning, and the end  but not the middle.  That middle that begins a couple of weeks after you are punched in the gut.  Not the pain, the heartbreak, or the struggle to educate yourself, to adjust to a new normal.

Sometimes it takes years, I know. And that shouldn't be discounted. Or skipped over.  Or plastered over with smiley-faces.

Sometimes the family of those with special needs are also thought of as being saints and that isn't true either.  There is frustration, and days that start out all wrong and go downhill from there.  They curse, they swear and sometimes they wish their loved ones had never been born.  That shouldn't be skipped over either.

So, today, I happened to read a blog post about the Holland essay that...I guess says it all.

Thank you, 5 Minutes for Special Needs, for saying what needed to be said.  And for giving us hope that we will leave the airport one day.

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