Am I Really Doing This?

I want to reiterate how excited I am about starting this blog, and at the same time, I am also so terrified.  I keep thinking, am I really doing this?   I consider myself to be more of a private person and here I am getting ready to put some of my most personal thoughts and feelings on my blog.  It both terrifies me and liberates me at the same time.   The last few days, I find myself overcome with ideas, thoughts, and topics to post on my new blog.  Before I do that though, I feel like I need to address my purpose for this blog, my hopes and goals.  I want this blog to be insightful, into the life and journey that we are on, and most of all, inspirational.

I want to share an essay titled, Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley.  This marks the beginning of our journey.

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 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 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….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.

We love Italy, we planned for Italy.   We are now in Holland and Holland is beautiful, Holland is full of the most amazing things.  We are crazy, madly in love with Holland.


8 thoughts on “Am I Really Doing This?

  1. Renee, I love this piece. I keep thinking how incredibly lucky Peyton is to have you & Brent, & Chad– what a perfect family for her. And how lucky you are to have her! Look forward to reading about your journey. xo

  2. Renee, I am so glad that you have decided to do this. I cannot wait to get the updates and share in this journey with all of you. Peyton is beautiful and amazing and is so blessed to have you and Brent as parents, Chad as her big brother. Thank you for sharing your heart and being so transparent. Much love!

  3. Hello Renee and Brent, Tyde and Dan’s Mom here. Dan forwarded your grand opening blog to us. Writing about your journey to discovery about the struggles and triumphs of both Chad and Peyton will be an undertaking that will have many added benefits other than being able to share your experiences and frustrations with your old friends and new friends who are traveling on the same path. I wish so much that I had taken more time to write about our children as it was the best part of my adult life, so your journal will be a memory that you probably otherwise would not have undertaken. You will be amazed when you reread your blog after a year or so how far you have traveled and the new strengths revealed in both of you, qualities that you never realize are hiding within until they are needed, and how you rise to meet them. Bravo to all of you. Ed and I send our very best wishes and congratulations on such a beautiful little girl who looks very healthy and rosy. Carol P.

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