But what if everybody tells you you’re in Italy?

Tulip Era in the Ottoman Empire...

Image by Kıvanç Niş via Flickr

Reflections on the “Welcome to Holland” story.

You’ve planned your amazing trip to Italy, your day finally arrives, and the plane lands. The flight stewardess says “Welcome to Italy!”

You get outside and you look around. And you say to your spouse/partner, your family, your friends “this doesn’t look like Italy,” with a puzzled expression on your face.

But everyone assures you that you are, indeed, in Italy, so, reassured, you continue on your way.

Still, as you look at all the sights to see, it still doesn’t seem to fit. You’re sure your guidebooks have different pictures. So when you meet a doctor on the path, you feel relieved. Here’s an educated and knowledgeable individual, you think. So you say to them, “Doctor, I’ve got a sneaky suspicion we’re not in Italy.”

The doctor takes a look around and says “Why, you’re quite right. We aren’t in Italy. But we are in France. If you just keep walking along this path, you’ll climb over the mountains and be in Italy, just like you planned.”

And again, you’re relieved. So you continue along the path, and the doctor travels with you.

But something happens to the path as you walk. Instead of climbing up into the mountains, you walk down onto flood plains.

Wide eyed, you turn to the doctor.  “Doctor, I am convinced we are not in Italy.”

And the doctor finally has to admit “Yes, you’re right. This whole time you’ve been in Holland. Not in Italy, and not in France.”

But as the original story says, it’s not a horrible place. It’s just not the place where you expected to be.


I wrote this because there’s been a further update on the boy in this post and this post and this post.

The problem is not his eyes at all, and yes, he’s developmentally delayed, but not for the reasons they thought. He had an MRI last week and they discovered that his brain did not develop fully – it’s not wrinkly enough. Good thoughts for his family will be well appreciated.


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About Broot

Thoughts about learning and life that are lost in a sea of blogs.

9 responses to “But what if everybody tells you you’re in Italy?”

  1. Aleta says :

    We believe and trust that the doctors will tell us what is wrong. But we forget that they are human and science is perfect. It’s frustrating. it’s scary.

    Sending prayers to the family.

  2. susan says :

    lovely analogy. and it does us good to remember that though at first we might see the seamy side of Holland, it also has some amazing treasures if only you look hard enough:)

  3. Karen V says :

    Holland is beautiful. Sometimes, it’s difficult to find your way around but that mama will and she will be fine. Prayers of understanding for that family. You know where the guidebooks are – send her our way and she can get some directions. 🙂

  4. Jenn @ You know...that Blog? says :

    No words – just *big hugs*.

  5. Deidre says :

    Oh wow. How terrifying.

  6. Dani @ OK, Dani says :

    That’s scary. Hugs to everyone in that family. Great analogy (metaphor? similie? i dunno) in this post. I’m digging your writing style with a shovel!!

    Thanks for visiting for my SITS day 🙂

  7. Blond Duck says :

    I think we expect doctors to be all knowing when really they’re just people!

  8. Robin says :

    Love this….love the way you and Kingsley (sp?) have put it….in words that truly ease the pain and open the windows to hope. And yet I sit sobbing for mothers….families I do not know. What a wonderful way to see…..the situation (for my own lack of words). It may not be Italy (I’m not partial to Italy anyway), but Holland has so VERY MUCH to offer.

  9. ElizOF says :

    Love and prayers go out to him and his family… You analogy brought it home loud and clear… It is never an easy thing to do. TY! 😉

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