Wednesday, July 6, 2011

That's What Friends Are For

I have said over and over that Jason and I would not be where we are today if it weren't for all the love and support of our family and friends. It's something we never take for granted and appreciate immensely. It's the pep talk from mom, the smiling faces on Skype and that long phone conversation with a best friend that always seem to pick us up when we've had a bad day.

Kristin with a very little Ella and Addison
during a visit to New York.
 It was during a phone chat with one of my best friends Kristin this week that the subject of this blog came up. She mentioned she had read it and we talked about how I finally made the decision to begin writing. Kristin is a pediatric PT and has fielded more than a few questions from Jason and I over the past two years. Even at our "craziest" moments, she is able to talk us off the ledge and give us the reassurance that Ella is doing great. She told me about an essay she had once read. I googled "Welcome to Holland"....and instantly wanted to share this beautiful writing. It was written in 1987 by Emily Pearl Kingsley.

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.
Thanks for sharing this Kristin....and thanks for all the love, support, and advice. I hope that someday Ella has friends like you to celebrate the good times and to lean on when times are tough :-) xoxo

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