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How to raise an extrovert who has an introvert for a mother.

Updated on July 27, 2016

I was the girl at the homecoming dance imagining myself dancing. Sometimes I might dust off my shoes toward the end of the night. Once most of the guests had forgotten to look or judge the plethora of girl dancing talent. Maybe then I might go nuts and join in the Electric Slide. Always somewhere in the back and always pretending it was no big deal. It was a big deal. Huge, even.

Fast forward fifteen or so years and now I have three extroverts. I cannot fathom how this happened. I mean I thought I did everything I could. I thought I raised them right, but to my dismay there are no wallflowers but me in my house. What does this mean? It means dance classes. It means sports. It means art classes and so many extra circles of friends that my head is swimming. It also means I got to coach a team of six year olds for the first time last year. It means I get to pretend a lot and smile while I panic inside.

When I say pretend, let me be clear. I am not pretending to be a caring concerned neighbor or acquaintance. I am pretending not to panic in the middle of the conversation. I think about how many times I said the word "like" or if I talk in circles like my dad and grandmother. We are nervous people. We hide it well, but we are not good in public.

My husband is an extrovert. He is a very obvious one at that. He likes people. He likes to talk to people. He likes to talk to people he has never met and have me think he knew them. My kids are like my husband, except my middle child. She is a little bit like me. She is super friendly like the rest of the herd, ugg we wave at people. But she likes to keep her thoughts to herself because when they come out the nerves show. That's my girl.

I don't even think they have noticed the fact that I am not like them. I don't find meeting people fun and they don't even realize this. I put on a face and I try and to them that is all that matters. I show up. I give them my best side. They deserve it.


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