I’ll start today’s post with a video of Nathan in therapy this morning:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCeEXQWitmo&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0]

Doesn’t he look good! I’m really happy with how he’s progressing. Other than my emotional blip last week, I’m pleased with the tiny changes I see every day.

Last night while I was laying in bed trying to sleep I kept thinking about Holland. There is a poem by Emily Perl Kingsley called “Welcome to Holland” that so many mothers seem to identify with. It compares having a child with special needs with going on a trip. You buy tickets to Italy and all of a sudden find yourself in Holland. The premise is that even though Holland isn’t as colorful as Italy, it has it’s own quaint beauty.

I don’t know why this bothers me so much! The support there is around this poem makes me feel that we have all collectively agreed to “accept” second best. Given the choice, not many people would choose Holland over Italy. If you have no other choice you can learn to accept Holland and see the beauty in Holland. But you still wouldn’t choose it and you would still always wonder what Italy was like and always want to travel to Italy. I object to this!

Maybe I felt this way when my journey started, but today I feel like I bought a ticket for Italy but found myself in the Lost City of Atlantis. Something you’d only dreamed of, a beautiful, marvelous, wondrous place. I imagine there are dark corners as well as majestic ones.

It’s not always easy, that’s not what I’m claiming. As you know there are moments when I feel lost and desolate. But those moments are fewer and far between. If you’ve ever traveled, you know what that’s like – you may be in the most beautiful place in the world, then you take a wrong turn and get lost in a bad neighborhood, and things become scary and difficult. But most of the times I feel happy and grateful.

Being Nathan’s mother has taught me so many things. I’ve learned acceptance, I’ve learned gratitude and appreciation. I’ve developed deeper empathy and compassion. I have had to get to know myself and to navigate througth the dark corridors of my mind to find self acceptance, to fish out the better qualities of myself otherwise it’s really hard to get through such an unconventional experience.

Anyways, I don’t meant to preach. I just want to declare an anti-Holland feeling. Nathan didn’t bring me to Holland, he brought me to places more beautiful and amazing than even Italy. And I don’t just “tolerate” my time in Holland, I cherish every moment of this wonderful experience that Nathan has brought me on. And with him as a tour guide, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Coincidentally, Sonia wrote about something similar today. If you can read Spanish, visit Sonia’s column on Revista Carrusel. If you can’t read Spanish, I hope you can translate it using an online tool – it is a BEAUTIFUL piece on acceptance and gratitude for this experience.


  1. Hi Marcela: Never liked the poem either! Our Lou Lou has always been much more than we expected. She is God’s blessing to us – definitely not a side trip!
    Nathan looks fabulous!

  2. Marcela,

    I love your outlook! I would much rather look at our journey like exploring the Lost City of Atlantis, rather than an “okay” place like Holland, as the poem makes it out to be. I posted a link to this entry from my blog, so others can read it! 🙂


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