(Gasp) He's An Introvert


He's An Introvert.

I'm not.

Picking up Anders from school is one of my favorite times of the day.  I get to see him, but I also get to see other mom friends.  It’s a time packed with hugs and smiles and hellos and plan making - with both him and them.

But everyday as soon as I see him, he runs to me and says, “Let’s go mom.”  

In his perfect world: I give him a hug, grab his hand and together we exit the building, crossing the street to our apartment to get gobbled up by silence after his long day.

In my perfect world: We talk to mom after mom and kid after kid.  We decide to go directly to the park with a group of friends or we invite others over.  We are the last ones to leave the building, still chatting and laughing and connecting.

Those are very different worlds.  He gets frustrated with me.  “Stop talking mom,’ he tells me.  “Come on mom,” he whines.

And I say, “Just one minute.”  “Please,” I beg.

His school is my connection to so many of my friends in Tokyo and I want to spend time with other moms there.  

His school is his place where he was just the best version of himself for 6-hours and he is ready to go home to breathe.  He LOVES school.  But then enough is enough.

I get my energy from the outside world.  He recharges through time at home.  I am happiest surrounded by friends.  He is comfortable being alone.  I want to be out seeing the world.  He does too, but then needs to come home for a break.

Yes, I am an extrovert mom, raising an introvert son.  

I always say to my kids, “you do you.”  I promised myself I would never push them to do a sport they weren’t interested in, take lessons they didn’t want, or study something that didn’t interest them.  But I just realized I have been pushing Anders to do/be something he isn’t.  I felt so strongly that community is what makes people happy that I wanted him to be surrounded by friends all the time - to be, what I thought would make him…happy.

And since my life in Tokyo as a stay-at-home-mom is so intensely intertwined with his, I admit I struggle when I have people over for a playdate and he wants to play alone or we bump into a friend in a coffeeshop and he doesn’t let me talk because he is ready to go. 

So as part of this parenting journey, it is time for me to be more empathetic, see the world through his eyes and navigate this path with him hand in hand.  Heck he’s only four, so we have a long road ahead as he comes into himself and I encourage him to do him.

But today, I picked him up from school, gave him a hug, grabbed his hand, exited the building, crossed the street to our apartment and together get gobbled up by silence after his long day.

Melissa Bertling4 Comments