Don’t welcome me to Holland, lady.

June 9, 2010

So I used to think I was the only person who got really annoyed by Emily Perl Kingsley’s essay, Welcome to Holland. The thing that bothered me was that everyone seemed to think that Kingsley was speaking for all parents of disabled kids, but she wasn’t speaking for me. Now I’m not saying that parents of kids with Down’s, which is what Jason Kingsley has, don’t face challenges; I’m sure they face huge ones. But if his mother’s biggest issue was that life with her son was “slower paced” and “less flashy” than life with a typical kid, it makes sense that parents who wonder if their kids will walk, talk, look people in the eye, or survive their next seizure might not be able to relate. I mean, Jason grew up to have a successful acting and public speaking career–Holland turned out pretty well for them, I guess.

Well, recently, I stumbled upon an essay by Jill Cornfield in Brain, Child Magazine and realized I was not alone. In fact, there’s a small internet trend of Holland satire, including Welcome to Beirut ,which echoes my opinion that having a kid with a disability can feel more like life in a war zone than a vacation to a country where drugs are legalized. Also, Holland Schmolland, which just has a really funny title.

A couple of years ago, I tried to write my own extended metaphor comparing the first few years of my daughter’s life to some kind of travel experience, and failed miserably. Maybe that’s the problem. Our life is just our life. And like the lives of all people, it is a journey, but not to anywhere that we’re already familiar with.


4 Responses to “Don’t welcome me to Holland, lady.”

  1. Kimberly Parker Says:

    Finally checked out your blog – this post has me hooked! Both Brain, Child mag and Holland Schmolland have been favorites of mine. Looking forward to more from you….

  2. Missy joyce Says:

    The first time I read “Welcome To Holland” I will admit I teared up but Hunter had just been diagnosed and well, I teared up over pretty much anything. Now I say, screw Holland, he’s going anywhere he wants to go.

  3. […] The bigger picture  What’s Wrong with You? (The Best Conversation of Our Lives)  Don’t Welcome Me to Holland Lady  Stress […]

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