Apr 26, 2013

Welcome to Holland Cookies by Jill FCS



How awesome is Kim for turning over her baby — her blog — to 29 cookie artists? Brave, Kim, very brave! I am Jill, from Jill FCS, and am honored to participate in Autism Awareness Month.

Inspiration is all around us and it comes in all forms, from famous artists to amazing kiddos, from published authors to dedicated parents, from remarkable world leaders to thoughtful neighbors.

We are lucky, we have wonderful neighbors. They are the kind of neighbors that smile and wave ... the kind that shout a cheerful greeting on a beautiful spring day ... those kind of neighbors ... the unassuming, nice kind.


One of our neighbors is blessed with a beautiful daughter, aptly named Bella, who happens to be autistic. I asked Bella’s Dad for ideas on what direction to take this post. He thoughtfully responded with the following story, written by Emily Perl Kingsley. Needless to say, Bella and her parents inspire me.

Welcome to Holland
©1987 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 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 Rembrandt's.







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.









20 comments:

  1. Fantastically beautiful post Jill. Gorgeous cookies!

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  2. My friend's son was just diagnosed and I can't wait to share this post with her! What an awesome story!
    Beautiful cookie Jill!

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  3. What a beautiful story Jill!! Love, love, love these cookies!!

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  4. Oh, my, how this touches my heart! So very insightful,this story, thank you for sharing it, and for making gorgeous cookies to celebrate the beauty in the world of the "Holland", for these parents.

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  5. What a wonderful story! I've never heard it but will most definitely share with my friends! Beautiful cookies and post, Jill!! <3

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  6. Okay, this one put a lump in my throat. Emily Kingsley offers a perfect analogy for understanding the letting go of an expected dream, for a different, unexpected dream...and not just for autism. Beautiful. Jill's gorgeous cookies partner perfectly with the story.

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  7. Beautiful story. This is so true for all the challenges we face with our children. Sometimes I wonder, "how the heck did I get here"??? But what a great lesson in taking a look around and appreciating the beauty.


    Thank you Jill!

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  8. I can only imagine the challenges, adventures, and great rewards to be discovered in Holland. Such a beautiful post Jill and that the puzzle pieces fit together....are you kidding me?

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  9. Some of the most beautiful words spoken by a mother. I can feel the love from here.

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  10. Awesome post, Jill! And as always, beautiful cookies ;)

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  11. Wonderful story, Jill! And those cookies are beautiful as always!

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  12. Beautiful story and beautiful post.

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  13. I will be delighted to have you my host if you come in Italy ... it was great to read you!

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  14. Ops...I forgot to tell you how much I love your cookies! :-D

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  15. what a wonderful analogy, and a beautiful cookie set!

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  16. What an amazing post and such gorgeous cookies to go along with it! Love this!!

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  17. I just knew there had to be a beautiful story to go along with such beautiful cookies. I have always wanted to go to Italy but my children took me to Bangladesh and Vienna. I think this will make sense to you Jill. <3

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  18. This needs to be published as a book. It would be a great book for kids.

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  19. Jill, that was an amazing and true post! You are so blessed and we are blessed to have you!

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