A friend read Amsterdam International and asked what she could do or say to support and encourage those of us with neuro-atypical children (my word not hers, but about that in another post). I was so touched by her question. The simple desire to encourage me means more than any words she could ever utter.
Yet so often I don't even admit that I am in Amsterdam International, let alone admit that there are no windows to even view the tulips and windmills. When asked the age old question, "How are you?" I give the age old answer, "Fine." Besides, there is no way to answer that question when the airport feels like it is closing in on you.
So, using Dana's analogy of the airport and tulips, I have devised a coded question for friends and family to ask the parents of neuro-atypical children....
Are you in the airport or not?
You see some days you are in the airport. You might be near a window with at least a view of the tulips, but other days you might be smack-dab in the middle with no sight of an exit, a plane, or a tulip. All you see is the concession stand and its day-old sandwiches.
Then there are other days, when you escape the confines of the airport to see Amsterdam. You might not see the tulips, but you are at least breathing fresh air. But, other days, you might actually be seeing the tulips.
Each day is different. For those of us who have children with health problems, we cannot begin to explain those problems in the few minutes allowed for the "How are you answer?"
But, if we ask, "Are you in the airport or NOT?" A quick answer tells all and means the world to us moms. Just knowing that someone is interested...Just knowing that there is no judgment in how we truly feel, reminds us that even when we feel we are alone, we aren't. We have friends, who if they cannot even begin to understand what it is like to prep a two-year old for a colonoscopy, they can accept where we are and how we feel.
No matter the issue of the day or the view in Amsterdam, we just need a caring heart and sometimes someone to listen to us. We realize not everyone wants to know all the details. All we want to know is that someone cares enough to ask..."Are you in the airport or not?"