"WELCOME TO HOLLAND" is a pretty famous essay written in 1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley, about having a child with a disability. I stumbled upon it pretty quickly after I entered the ranks of special need parenting, and it's been a good metaphor to keep things in perspective and in re-adjusting expectations.
Stunning in their dedication, inspiring in their endurance and touching in their hope.
I confess, at first (during the poo-smearing months, the beginnings--little did I know-- of sleeplessness, the stress of realizing my child only ate a handful of foods, figuring out ways to communicate with our non-verbal child, all while simultaneously coming to terms with everything Aaron's diagnosis meant to our family's future) I was a bit jaded by other people's seemingly less-dramatic parenting concerns. How could they complain about Italy?!?!
It's like I've looked a the pictures of Italy and thought I "get it" . When I really didn't at all.
But I'm starting to. My little "Italians" give me a run for my money, every single day!
And there are actually days I think Aaron is my "easy" kid!
The joy that comes from parenting Aaron is much like him--mysterious, sometimes sudden, but also unbelievably solid, in a quiet constant, unquestionable way. It is one of a kind.
The joy that comes from McKye and Levi, is also much like them--just more normal (typical if you prefer), so fun, easy to anticipate and easy to underestimate, too. While more expected and full of cliche moments you've seen hallmark commercialize on a million times, til it's you and your kid-- kissing that scraped knee or receiving that tight toddler hug-- you can't really imagine how wonderful it actual is.