Mommy Lessons 34,612 and 34,613
Mommy Lesson #34,612: Icing without cake is just icing.
Outgoing: extroverted, talkative, or sociable
I submit that there are times when a Mr. (or Ms.) Outgoing can turn out to be a lowdown, backstabbing Class A jerk. That is, there are a lot of people in this world who've got lots icing, but no cakey goodness inside. IOW, good personality, but bad values or ethics.
(Oh, you don't know anybody like that? Maybe you haven't looked hard enough? Think.)
(This is awkwaaaard.)
(Because I'm probably talking about you.)
Extrovert or introvert is icing. What constitutes cakey goodness? Compassion, kindness, respect. Stuff like that. You know, values.
Before I became a mother, I had a vision of the perfect child.
Outgoing, a risk taker yet very obedient, popular and friendly, talkative, charming, confident, strong, aggressive when she needed to be but extremely compassionate, intelligent, a fighter, a winner, the list goes on and on.
Three years later, I'm beginning to think that people who are overly invested in visions are either messengers of God or just clinically insane.
My daughter, N., has a lot of the qualities that I dreamed of in that original vision, but not all of them. (You can read more about her personality and my opinions regarding it on the post, Shy Kid.)
Oh, I know she may change dramatically, and I understand that she's only three. But, know what?
I don't care if she stays exactly the same. (Well, I could do without the feet stomping that occurs following a negative response to "Can I have Teddy Grahams for dinner?").
I love her because of her quiet ways, her discernment, and her reserved manner in the company of whomever she deems an outsider. And please notice that I didn't say, "I love her, anyway."
Because there's nothing wrong with the kid who doesn't hug strangers or the kid who still won't hug you after she's met you five times. Extroverts don't hold superiority over introverts. A talkative risk taker is no better than a reflective thinker. Talkative and reflective, after all, are descriptions which are generally independent of ethics, values and morals.
I've thought very hard about my original "I want this kind of kid" wish list today, the day after I've withdrawn N. from preschool because of three weeks of non-stop crying.
A lot of books and a lot of people said she would cry because of separation anxiety. That she would stop about twenty minutes after I left. Well, she didn't stop. She cried. And cried, and cried. Some of you might offer one of the following nuggets of wisdom:
I'm not doing her any good by coddling her, she has to learn to work this stuff out on her own.
She's never going to learn how to be social if I don't put her in social situations.
Children learn when they're pushed.
Change is always uncomfortable.
Well, "some of you" can just zip it and mind your own business. The rest of you can keep reading.
I know, in my heart, that my daughter's crying wasn't normal separation anxiety. It was a meaningful attempt on her part to tell me and anyone else who was willing to listen that she is not ready for this.
Mommy Lesson #34,613: No PhD, M.D., other kid's parent, friend or teacher should hold veto power over one's feelings about what's best for their own child.
N. told me, I'm not ready, Mama. (Yeah, she calls me Mama, how precious is that?!)
I hear you, N., I hear you. You're not ready. That's fine. I'm not ashamed of you for not being ready, and you don't have to be ashamed either.
Respect: due regard for the feelings and desires of others.
Now that's some seriously delicious cakey goodness.