Several years ago, I had an important discussion with a friend about parenting extroverted children when you are an introvert. We lamented about being homebodies, and cherishing the (extremely) small amount of time that we are alone. Being alone – (I mean TRULY alone, locking the bathroom door doesn’t count) – is how I recharge my batteries! The gist of our conversation was that it is our number one job as parents to help our children find the confidence to spread their wings and become a caring, contributing member of society…at whatever the cost!
What that means for me is, I (quite often) have to step out of my comfort zone, and leave the house. My three daughters are incredibly social and gregarious and thrive on interaction with their peers. I force myself to leave my nest every single day and socialize and spend time with unfamiliar faces.
I’ve become so comfortable being uncomfortable in social situations that I would wager that many of my close friends don’t view me as a homebody and introvert!
That brings us to March of 2020. When whispers of quarantine, and isolation, and stay-at-home orders first started ripping through media channels, I selfishly thought to myself, “Yes! This is it! I finally have an excuse to stay home, and stay comfortable. Everyone will understand my desire to slow down and relax, and keep my family safe and cozy in our family nest.”
Now? Four weeks (Wait, is it five weeks?) later? I laugh in the face of that girl who looked so cheerfully at our ‘excuse’ to stay home. We’ve played. We’ve dressed up. We’ve baked. We’ve homeschooled. We’ve paid lots of dollars to rent the Trolls 2 premiere from our living room sofa. We’ve explored. We’ve rode our bikes. We’ve cooked 4958394 meals together. We’ve snuggled. Heck, we’ve even tried fishing down the street from our home.
When I say I never thought the queen of the homebodies would be itching for social interaction, I mean NEVER EVER. But – I’ve about had it. This introvert may actually have a bit of an extrovert bubbling up deep down inside. I chatted it up with the checkout gal at Publix last week for a solid 10 minutes because…why not? Who have I become?
Despite my prior discomfort with and previous distaste for mingling with people that I don’t know, I would stop at nothing to give my children the world. What I’ve learned, though, through is all is that it is my children who have opened up an entirely new world to me.
That is…unless I’ve got the option of staying in a (Coronavirus-free) hotel ALONE for a week – preferably on a tropical island – then I’d definitely choose that option.