Baby Tjader's Journey

A life undefined by pPROM, prematurity and Cerebral Palsy.

Welcome to Holland June 28, 2011

Filed under: Family — Aimee @ 7:39 am

I’m so happy to be living in Holland with the love of my life, my best friend, my husband. Happy third anniversary, Tyler Tjader! Thirteen years of togetherness. I love you every single day.

Welcome to Holland
by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with special needs to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel.

It’s like this … 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.

This is the first photo we ever took together. It was Tyler's 18th birthday. I was 16.


4 Responses to “Welcome to Holland”

  1. Jessica Gessner Says:

    You two look so young! Happy Anniversary! Holland is a beautiful, amazing place !! 🙂

  2. robinandrich Says:

    Love this. xxxxx
    Have a wonderful anniversary.

  3. Ma T Says:

    Happy Anniversary guys! That is a beautiful story! And that picture! I remember that! Look how young you both are!!! Priceless! Here’s to many, many more years of health and happiness to you both. Love you. Ma T

  4. Sheri Says:

    Happy Anniversary to a VERY SPECIAL couple!

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