Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Italy vs. Holland

As promised in my earlier blog, here is the poem regarding Italy and Holland.

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.

* * *

©1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley

Now, I've seen both. Holland was and still is a beauty of its own and I look forward to seeing what else Holland will show to me as the years go forward. Italy, is also beautiful. Can I choose one over the other? Moving forward, sure. But, I just can't regret having seen Holland.

My first time holding Elisa at one day old.

The first time holding Aidan, maybe an hour old.

1 comment:

Janelle M. said...

It IS very different...but very wonderful to have the two very different experiences.

The first few months when Jack was born, I struggled quite a bit with the comparison game. And I felt a bit guilty for it too. Jack just had it "easier", but I also felt like everything I knew about a baby that I learned from Luke was useless when it came to Jack.

But now, nearly 14 months later, I am so so grateful for two experiences. I don't love either one of them more than the other...I just appreciate them both for their own individual challenges that they have overcome.

You will enjoy this journey. It will be hard at times and you may find yourself eating some of the words you said before Aiden was born, but it's all good. Experience is precious and valuable. And now you can say that you know.

Congratulations on the birth of a beautiful baby boy! I wish you the best of luck with raising him and his big sister.