This week in class we read two different... poems? Stories? The first was titled "Holland". It was a very sweet way of showing the readers how when you have a baby, you begin to plan and have all these hopes and dreams for that child. But when you find out that child has a disability, those hopes and dreams change. Rather than that trip to Italy that you had planned, you ended up in Holland. Both are beautiful places, but you need to change your frame of mind.
You complete the story feeling good. Every time I read that story I smile and think "I could learn to love Holland if that's where I ended up." but in reality, I would be devastated. I am not entirely sure if I could have such a positive spin on it for many many years.
We discussed how so many parents plan for their child before they even have one! I am currently doing this right now for my own child. It's a natural thing. I would think some of you may even do a little bit of this already. I remember in high school (I can't remember as far back as Jr. High!) thinking "I hope when I have a kid someday that they will want to play sports" or "I hope my child enjoys singing someday". I remember thinking those thoughts because those were things that I LOVED doing in high school so I wanted my future (very very far in the future!) child to have those same experiences.
So when a parent finds out that their child has a disability, all of those hopes and dreams that started so long ago are very very painful to let go of. Parents go through the grieving process, just as they would if someone in their life died. Check out the 5 Stages of Grief and Loss here.
Knowing that parents go through these stages, "Schmolland" made so much more sense to me! I feel as though it is a much more realistic viewpoint of a parent. Granted, she speaks to her specific country with lots of examples that we have not seen first hand, but she gives us a glimpse into her real country that isn't all tulips and windmills (see what I did there? I'm funny sometimes... Mr. VanLaan totally wouldn't agree though.)
I love the glimpse that the Bill Davis video gives us into their life and how hard it can be to have a child like this at home. Chris is obviously more severe than any of our boys, but seeing how Chris' family responded to his disability and challenges will give you a good idea what so many of our peer's families have to do (or choose to do) as well.
We will continue to speak on this in our class next week as well. Then we will shift our focus to the siblings of these kids. That is an important piece of the puzzle that I think you all will be able to relate to.