• English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
Back to Firefly Blog

I Don't Want to Say We're 'Fine'

I Don't Want to Say We're 'Fine'

How are you? Probably the most ubiquitous conversation starter, right? I bet we each hear this no less than five times a day, sometimes many times more. It's meant to be a lighthearted inquiry, and often it's used as a mere phrase, without much meaning attached. After all, doesn't the asker usually expect the response to be, “I'm fine, how are you?”

In saying there is no meaning attached to asking this question, I might be overly cynical. I'll grant that. It's likely true that some people don't really know any other way to start a conversation, or it's so ingrained a habit that they don't realize they're saying it half the time. Still, others do ask it with sincerity, and they are hoping for an honest answer.

Do you have a typical answer to this question? I don't. I'm one of those annoying people that always, always, think about my answer before giving it. And, because I'm not good at concealing my emotions, I usually answer with blunt honesty. If something is going poorly, that's what I say. If there was a highlight to the week, I'll talk about it. You get the picture.

I'm usually speaking on behalf of my whole family though, so I do try to take them all into consideration and not just talk about myself. For my son, in particular, we are seen as a unit, not really separate from one another. For this reason, though sometimes the question is aimed at me, usually it's implied that I'm going to answer for him as well.

So, special needs boy and mom unit, how are you?

We all know the answer to that, if we are speaking frankly, can and will vary wildly from one moment to the next. There are physical and social obstacles, medical interventions, education proficiency questions, language barriers, goals met, abilities stagnated, friends gained or lost, mental exhaustion, joyful interactions, and on. My response to everything going on can also vary wildly depending on my perspective. Or my son's. Or both.

I feel a bit guilty for those on the receiving end of my answers at times. I've probably made more than a few people uncomfortable with my own lack of filter. But I really can't help it; I'll probably never say “I'm fine” and move on because if I say that, people might stop asking.

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

Victoria Tkachuk

Meet Our Blogger

I'm from the Midwest region of the United States and I have four children, three neurotypical daughters and one son with dyskinetic cerebral palsy. My goal in writing is to connect special needs parents and make inclusion a reality in all our lives.

View Victoria’s Profile

Become a Firefly Blogger

Would you like to write for Firefly? Join our blogger network of parents, therapists and professionals.

Get In Touch

Become a subscriber today

Join over 40,000 subscribers to our weekly newsletter with insightful articles just when you need them.

Join Mailing List

By using our site you agree to our use of cookies. Click here for more info.

Accept & Close

No Interest if paid in full in 4 months on

Purchases on £99+

UK Customers only. Subject to credit approval. See terms below

Paypal Credit

Pay now or pay over time with PayPal Credit. Just use PayPal Credit in PayPal checkout.

Subject to credit approval.

Purchases of £99+:

No Interest if paid in full in 4 months on purchases of £99 or more.

  • A minimum monthly payment is required and may or may not pay off the promotional purchase by the end of the 4-month period.
  • No interest will be charged on the purchase if you pay it off in full within 4 months. If you do not, interest will be charged on the purchase from the purchase date at the Purchase APR applicable to your account.
  • Any remaining balance due after the 4-month promotional period or any transactions under £99 will be charged interest at 19.9% p.a. (variable).

Purchases of £98.99 or less:

Buy now and pay over time with PayPal Credit when you spend £98.99 or less.

  • If you pay your balance in full each month by the payment due date that is on your statement, you can avoid paying interest.
  • Or, make minimum monthly payments, or any additional amount of your choosing, until you've paid off your balance according to your standard account terms. Please note, interest charges may apply.
  • We'll send you email reminders when your payments are due. You can also keep track of your account and view your statements online at any time.

About PayPal Credit

  • PayPal Credit is a reusable credit line available on purchases at thousands of stores that accept PayPal. It's also available for purchases on eBay and exclusively at thousands of other online stores. Plus, it comes with the same security and flexibility you trust from PayPal.
  • In order to maintain the 0% offer, you need to keep up monthly repayments and stay within your credit limit. Credit subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. UK residents only.

Please wait...