Our Introverted Extrovert

I’ve learned something about Abigail over the last six weeks, through watching her discover it about herself. She may be an extrovert that thrives off of spending time and interacting with other people, no matter the age, but I think she learned about how many people she can handle at one time. Being an introvert myself, it has been a struggle to constantly meet her interaction needs with just the two of us at home. Not only does she need me by her side for most of the day, but I don’t get my time by myself to recharge. We have been making it work, but it hasn’t been easy.

Needless to say, I think my daughter is an extrovert. I think she gets her energy and fill from being around people and interacting…but I think living with 12 other people in stead of 2 other people, she has learned about her introverted side — that she has one and how to get in touch with it. I have noticed on days that we didn’t get the chance to get out of the house here in Guatemala…which was most days…that her happiest days were days that she could just wander around outside with no one bugging her or asking her anything. Where she could just pick up a stick and play in the dirt or pick up some mangoes in peace. She would come back inside looking, acting, and feeling totally refreshed. Plus, it gave me the space I needed from her to not go too crazy.

I hope we both remember that’s what she needs when we’re back home. I pray that on days where we’re both at our wit’s ends He touches my mind and reminds me that all she needs is a little introverted play time for us to get back on our feet and treat each other with a little grace.

It has been such a big blessing in my life to be able to bring my three year old daughter to a foreign country. Even if she doesn’t remember a thing from this trip when she’s older, I know it made a difference in her life and in mine to watch her grow here. I was floored by her flexibility and willingness to try new things. Sure, she and I butt heads a LOT over who should be in control, but at the end of the day, I think about things like the time she answered the question “do you want to eat some rabbit?” without skipping a beat with “yeah, suuure!” or when she would willingly sit through children’s worship that was entirely in Spanish.

She is an incredible little girl. It has been the joy of my life to be part of her life since it began 4 years ago.

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