I know you've heard the story.
You get ready for a trip to Italy, and you learn Italian, and you're all ready to eat the native foods and go to the native places and see the sights, but you get dumped off in Holland. Then somehow you're la-la-la-ing your way through Holland, clicking your wooden clogs happily and revelling in the blessings of tulips and windmills. This, or so the analogy goes, is just how it feels to have a "special" child, and aren't we all glad we're in Holland together?
Dang straight, I'm not. Twerp alert: I paid for Italy. I'm feeling gypped.
And gimme a break. Don't even tell me that the second you got off that plane, that you wouldn't be yelling at every single ticket agent, the pilot, the stewardesses, the radar tower people, God and some random puppy that got in your way that day. (No, you'd kick the puppy. You're just that mad.) I'm telling you, I'd have the most colossal temper fit you'd ever seen, right in the airport. It would look something like this, but you have to picture this scene with a middle-aged fat white woman roly-polying all over the ground and snotting everywhere.
But the analogy isn't really a fair one. Because really, you're IN ITALY but no longer able to speak Italian with the people who surround you. You can no longer eat the foods you wanted to eat or go to the places you wanted to see as a parent. Sure, you can love your little Dutchman and pinch his little Campbell's soup kid cheeks, and you can rejoice in the fact that your child is a gift from God. And you can yodel with him or whatever it is that those Dutch people do. (I know they don't yodel... that was just me trolling for comments by being provocative.)
That doesn't mean that when your child doesn't speak and the other kids the same age in the church nursery are using the potty and giving an entire monologue, that you don't feel jealous. And angry. Why are we all working so hard, and things are still difficult?
It doesn't mean you don't want to smack some people upside the head, either. Do you know how aggravating it is to deal with stares and comments, knowing this is some horrible joke God is playing on your poor child? Here, you can be reasonably assured the know-it-all who advises you on child rearing in the local Wal-Mart hasn't had to deal with one stinkin' tenth of the problems you've been handling. And her kids don't have one stinkin' tenth of the obstacles to overcome your child does.
You feel jealous of the easy life those people have. You wish *you* had the easy life with *your* children and that you could be the one giving the stupid advice to Ms. Stupid and the Stupid Twins on checkout aisle 15. But nooooo. God puts all this on your family, and then you're supposed to suck it up and be gracious.
It isn't fair. Not that I'm doing so hot on the being gracious thing, and not that I'm doing so hot on even caring about not doing so hot on the being gracious thing. I just don't have any energy left to do that, you know?