Sunday, October 21, 2012

Holland

It's 10 DAYS until Halloween. A lot of years, I've mentally skipped that and moved on to the 65 days until Christmas, but this year is different.  The past couple of years have been different.  More exciting than Halloween and Christmas has been fall.  32 days until Thanksgiving! The weather is cooling down.  The leaves are turning colors-not just in the mountains, but in my back yard. Fall food is in season. Right now I am so grateful for the blessings that I have.  As of this point I maintain that I may or may not have the best calling in the church. I am so grateful for the kids that I have the opportunity to work with.  Today we had sacrament meeting with one of the visiting wards that came and did an activity with us last week.  One of the mothers of one of our special needs kids spoke and shared a story that somehow applied.  She said she found it in Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul under disabilities. (Her daughter has cerebral palsy.) The story is called
Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley.
Having a child is like planning a vacation to Italy. You purchase your guide books, study conversational Italian, and make plans for all the sights you will see. It will be glorious. After months of preparation you pack your bags and hop on your plane. Eight hours later the plane lands and the stewardess says, "Welcome to Holland."
Holland?! I planned for Italy. I signed up for Italy!
There has been a change in plans. You landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that you aren't in a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, ridden with famine and disease. It's just different.
So you must go out and buy new guidebooks, learn a new language, and get to know different people than you were originally planning.  After a while you notice that it's not a bad place. It's just different. It's slower paced and less flashy, but it has windmills. It has tulips. It even has Rembrandts.  It is hard to give up Italy. It has been a dream, a goal, for so long. People will continue to talk about it for as long as they go and come. You will change. You will learn to love Holland for everything that it is instead.
As a 30 year old, never married, single in the LDS community sometimes I feel like I've been shipped to Holland especially when the kids I grew up with are on their second, even third trips to Italy.  This calling has helped me to notice that Holland really is amazing. These kids are my Rembrandts. I am so blessed. I think I'm going to learn Dutch. Or at least how to make stroopwafels.