Tuesday, October 28, 2003


I found this essay on the internet. It's about what it's like raising a child who has Down Syndrom, although the publisher pointed out that it could be about raising a child with any disability. Here's the essay, the pertinence to my life will follow...



by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability -- to try to help people who have not shared the 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 guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. Michelangelo's "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 flight attendant comes 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 plans. 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 guidebooks. 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, 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 go away, because the loss of that dream is a 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.


I've been noticing lately that the source of most of the depression and anger in my life is expectation. I set myself up for failure by expecting the driver in front of me to realize that I'm in a hurry, and let me pass. Or I expect other people to go out of their way to keep me on my diet. I even go to stores expecting them to sell the shirt that I have pictured in my head. It all adds up to a lot of frustration. By eliminating expectation, or at least recognizing that the expectations are unrealistic (not expecting my expectations to be fulfilled?) I can lead a happier, more relaxed life. Or at least that's the plan. We'll see how it works out...

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

The Governator

Today is the California governor's recall election, and I must say that for some reason I'd really like to see Schwarzenegger win.

At first I thought that my feeling was simply due to the fact that as the Governor of California he'd be too busy to make his cheesy movies. But no, I think it goes beyond that...

I don't know much about Davis. In fact, I don't even know why he is going through this recall... All I know is that I like what I've heard from Schwarzenegger. I like how he's reacted to the accusations of him mistreating women, and I like his stances on the issues. He sounds like an ordinary guy, not like a politician and I think we need more of that in government.