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February 9th, 2015

08:45 am - Loving my Introvert (at age 4)
Little Miss was awesome at her party yesterday. It was a marked difference from last year when she had a very hard time getting into it; although she had fun. She sparkled as she interacted with everyone at her party, talking to them all, as if she was an experience hostess, and playing with different people, switched between activities with ease and grace.
Then we went to the bathroom.
And 5 minutes later, she said she had to go the bathroom again. So we went back. I asked her if she needed to use the potty, and she said, "I need to twirl first."
And she did. And I let her twirl for 5 minutes. Because I know that feeling. That, "I'm having a great time, but I'm a little overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people and sensory input, and I need to just take a step back and have a moment of quiet alone time."
Do you know how long it took me to realize I needed that oasis, even (especially) at parties, just for a minute to calm my mind. And how many years after that, even, the guilt, "Why can't I just enjoy myself!?" at a party. I was well into my 30s when I realized it was part of who I was. That I could be having fun and still be overwhelmed and need to regroup, with no insult to the party or the company, or myself. I'm from a family of basically extroverts and of all of us, I'm the least socially energized, so I never recognized or learned that there were different ways to be present.
And that it was okay to take a minute to twirl quietly in the bathroom for a few minutes to get my mind clear and re-center myself so I could go back out the party and be awesome.
I'm so proud of her for being so clear about who she is that she knows when to take a time out. At the moment, I have an introvert for a daughter*, and she's awesome, and I can totally work with that.
*I know that could change. Introverts can become more extroverted and it's a continuum, not a binary setting. But for the moments, its enough that I recognize the signs and accommodate the person she is.

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