Oddly, summer is upon us, but I feel more like it’s winter that’s coming. Any day now.
The sheen of sweat on my forehead and the clingy relationship I’ve developed with the air-conditioner remote control are persistent reminders that my mind and my body really must reconcile, though. Summer it is and summer it will be, for at least another six months, in Brisbane.
Nonetheless, I’m slowing down and curling up, and all I want is quiet and stillness. Hibernation, and a cave to crawl into, out of the elements, to vegetate and not have to engage with anyone. I want to conserve my energy and then emerge renewed and refreshed. Like a butterfly from a caterpillar, or more likely, like a caterpillar who looks just a bit less haggard than usual.
It’s not going to happen.
Parenting as an introvert is interesting.
Introverts often refuel alone, and parents of small children are rarely alone. So, we adapt. We sit in our cars and are late for our appointments because we just can’t wrench ourselves from the insulated solitude. We find moments of stillness while in the company of others, retreating into the space of our own heads. We take solace in the rhythm of a repetitive task, or the physicality of exercise, or the snatches of empty time that present themselves, fleetingly, in a day. Those tiny, golden gifts.
We work out that we can happily be both parents and introverts, if we’re prepared to bide our time, and take our silence when and wherever we find it. We work out that we can be present, involved in the game, reading the story, building complicated structures with cardboard and metres of sticky-tape and blind faith - loving those moments while also longing for others.
The best part of parenting as an introvert is the co-existence of these two states. We can find gratitude and joy in the messy noisy tangle of it, and also appreciate the sharp relief the moments of quiet are thrown in to, when we’re
And bloody well scrolling through our phones, looking at pictures of our children.