Poor Preschooler D lives in a house of firstborns — not just firstborns, but quiet introverted firstborns. I was trying to bribe him into practicing piano the other day, so I told him I would take him to the park. When we arrived, there was another car there.
“Oh, hooray!!!” said D. “Friends!!! I can’t wait to make some new friends!!!!” And my son, who is usually too helpless to unbuckle himself and get out the door, flew out of the car before I even had it turned off.
I had brought my book. I was hoping to sit under a tree without having to actually interact with anyone new. Thankfully the car belonged to Senora Tracy, the high school Spanish teacher. She was there with her native speaking Spanish friend, and I had a great time talking to them in English while Tracy went back and forth in Spanish.
I like meeting and talking to new people, but I am naturally an introvert* and it requires more energy than my extroverted son. I tend to desire what I consider “safe” situations where I know people and they know me — and, I suppose, aren’t surprised by me and my left of center sense of humor. (Hmmmmm, this is deeper than I thought it would be. Sounds like I have some underlying issues in this area. We’ll have to come back to that later.)
Anywho, I see this as my biggest challenge this summer. How do I remember that D wants and needs the kind of busy, people-filled interaction that I normally shy away from? How do I provide him those experiences?
Maybe he needs to move in with his cousin Ella this summer. She — odd, now that I think about it — is a first-born of second-borns.
*It’s been my experience that it is very hard for extroverts to understand the mind of the introvert. They think we don’t want human contact at all. Not true. Many types of social situations suck our energy instead of supply energy as it would for the extrovert. I am perfectly happy to stand up and talk or sing in front of a large crowd, but making conversation on a car ride with three other women I don’t know very well may send me to my bed for the rest of the day/week.