This has been such a nice morning in the Ervin household. Kelsey and I have been rolling out our pie crusts, Ben made me an egg sandwich for breakfast, and I'm still walking around in my PJ's. Connor asked me if we were putting up the Christmas tree today, and I told him no. He was very concerned, so I explained to him that today is Thanksgiving and we don't put up the tree until AFTER Thanksgiving. This brought on another onslaught of questions, as is prone to happen these days with Connor. I explained that on Thanksgiving we get to spend time as a family and have a Thanksgiving Feast.
Connor asked, "What's a Thanksgiving Feast?"
Before I could answer, Olivia piped up from across the room, "It's where you get to eat a lot of food and nobody judges you."
Yep. That about sums it up.
Connor was helping me with some baking after dinner. He wanted to know when he was going to get dessert. I explained to him that I was baking stuff for choir after church tomorrow, and that it wasn't for tonight.
"Mommy, what is for dessert then?"
"Nothing. You don't need dessert every night."
"Yes, we do! We have to have dessert!"
"No, we don't."
"Yes, we do! Jesus said we have to have dessert every night after dinner!"
I've read several
articles lately that seem to be painting a "how to" guide for
interacting with and understanding introverts. And while
I'm all about understanding what makes my husband (an introvert) tick, I'm
beginning to get a little peeved with the general implication that extroverts are
people who pursue shallow, inconsequential human interaction while introverts
are busy pondering the deep mysteries of the universe. Therefore, I have
decided to come to the defense of extroverts everywhere. And while I'm fairly
certain many introverts won't actually care about my perspective, this sates one
of the deepest needs found in extroverts everywhere: to understand and to be
understood by others.
It's true. When I am out in public and standing next to someone I don't know, I might just strike up a conversation with him or her. Not every time. And not everywhere. But sometimes I will come across someone with whom I appear to have something in common. Maybe she has a petulant toddler or a gaggle of kids. Maybe she looks nice. Maybe we are both waiting in line and annoyed with the same delays. But because I don't know this person well, any comment I make is going to relate to that superficial something we have in common. I am not demanding a lengthy conversation. In fact, if that person's body language is telling me they would rather not talk to someone, I leave them alone. But if they seem to be the friendly I-will-make-eye-contact-with-you sort of person, I may simply invite them to share my space for a few moments through conversation; to connect.
Extroverts thrive on social energy. This doesn't have to be with people they don't know. Believe it or not, there are shy extroverts in the world! But we are more interested in the people around us than the things around us. And there is much to be said for people like us. Without extroverts, there would be no social glue to hold things together. We are important to the normal functioning of society - that's why there are more of us than there are of them (introverts). If my husband has to go to a social gathering, he wants me there. And not just because I am his arm candy, either. It's because that much human interaction with people he doesn't know very well isn't all that enjoyable to him. He's happy with one or two good conversations, but in order to get to those conversations, there are another 10 that have to happen that don't lead anywhere. As a non-shy extrovert, I don't mind taking care of that part. Do I love it? Nope. Do I thrive on them? Uh-uh. But I don't mind doing it in order to get to those "one or two" conversations that will truly be enjoyable for both of us.
Despite being an extrovert, I find that the older I get the less I want to have superficial, meaningless conversation with anyone. That office Christmas party with my husband's co-workers? I tolerate it because I love him, and because we get to dress up and have a nice dinner without the kids. I don't hate it, but it doesn't energize me or meet my social needs, either. However, that 2-minute conversation that I had with the lady in the check out line? It was nice. We commiserated over the fact that our kids are a handful at the grocery store. We got momentary validation from the fact that someone else understands. We didn't walk away with a lasting friendship. Neither of us were looking for that. But in a small, minor way, we connected.
Maddox came out of his room (after bedtime) to tell us there was something in his nose. Upon closer inspection, we realized the boy had pushed a small rock up his nose. Way up his nose. Left nostril, to be exact. Trying to avoid an ER visit, I pulled out the tweezers, only to find that he had blown it down low enough that Ben could work it out with his fingers.
Imagine our surprise when this boulder landed in his hand. How did he get that in there? It's huge!
I'm not sure my nerves can take another 15 years of this.