The One and Only (technocowboy) wrote in parentsrus,
The One and Only

Special Needs Kids

When I was 20, I had a summer job at a camp for mentally and physically challenged adults and kids. One week, there was an extraordinary camper by the name of Vicki. I can't put my finger on why she was so extraordinary when all of our campers were, but Vicki left an impression with me. Her mother volunteered at the camp that week. When we had some downtime (not that there was much of it!), Kathy was part of the small group of counselors and we were talking. Of this group, I was the only first-timer. I turned to her and asked her what it was like having a special needs child. She smiled and said, "When I get home, I'll send you a copy of something I have to explain it all." A couple of weeks later, I got the following letter:

You asked me what it's like to have Vicki. This is a short summary that I've always liked!

-- Kathy

A Section From the Movie Kids Like These - Italy represents "normal" children, Holland represents handicapped children.

When you are going to have a baby, it's like you are planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy - the Sistine Chapel, the Coliseums. You get a few guide books, you learn a little Italian, you pack your bags and take off.

Several hours later, you land and the stewardess comes in and says "Welcome to Holland". "Holland! I signed up for Italy. All my life I have dreamed of Italy." But they haven't taken you to a terrible ugly place, just a different place.

It's slower paced than Italy, less than Italy, but after you have been there for a while and you catch your breath, you begin to discover that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts!

But everyone you know is busy coming back and forth from Italy and they are all bragging about what a great time they have had there. And for the rest of your life you would 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 go away. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you never did get to Italy, you will never be free to enjoy the very special, very lovely things about Holland... that unexpected, that Oh so different place!!

No, there's no reason that I'm posting this, except that I found this folded piece of paper when we were unpacking. I was happy to see it and I just thought I'd share.

X-posted to my LJ
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