We were definitely an introverted family. My husband and I are both introverts, drawn together by our love of deep conversation and mutual respect for each other’s space. Then came our first daughter. She was always content to rest upon my chest and sleep or sit on my knee and watch the other small children playing. Her smile was reserved for those she loved best. Even our dog had that somewhat aloof nature of an introvert, turning away when people she didn’t know would try to stroke her and reserving cuddles for us on the sofa. But then my second daughter arrived.
From her very earliest days, she was smiling and interacting with everyone she could. I couldn’t make it around the supermarket without people stopping me half a dozen times or more to enjoy her laughing and gurgling at them. She leans into life in every way possible. Every challenge is a possibility. When she was 18 months I hovered over her as she climbed up and over all manner of obstacles, leaving her contemporaries in her wake.
Not only did this thrust me into a lot of new situations (conversing with random strangers while they cooed over my baby), but it caused me to question some of my own beliefs about human connection and my ability to communicate with others. Was it really as difficult as I imagined? I will always have that need for space and time to myself, but could I lose some of the social awkwardness I carried around with me? Possibly so. Here's what I've learned in my two years (so far) of loving this bonkers little extrovert: