In the Afthead house we are plowing through to the end of the school year. Combined with Mother’s Day and little Afthead’s birthday, this time of year is non-stop parties, events and social obligations. This past weekend’s schedule for my family was:
- Friday – School, soccer game, family birthday party
- Saturday – Soccer game, arts festival at school, performance of Frog and Toad at school, sleepover
- Sunday – Soccer game, birthday party with 10 girls
Note that we only have one kid! How is this schedule possible? We made it, and Monday morning I dropped my exhausted daughter off at school and trudged back toward my car. When I saw a mom who I knew had a soccer party for 15 boys Sunday night I was excited to commiserate.
I started the conversation, “I hear you had 15 boys on your trampoline last night. You must be crazier than I am. I only had 10 girls and a swing.”
She looked at me and said, “Oh, it was so amazing last night. I looked at all those kids and all those families and just thought about how lucky I am. The kids got along so well, and the families were so great. I am just so grateful for this amazing school and these experiences we get to provide our kids.”
I think I may have managed a grunt in reply, which was way better than what I was screaming inside: “WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT LADY?!? AREN’T YOU TIRED AND CRANKY AND OVERWHELMED FROM ALL THIS STUFF!?!”
On the drive to work I evaluated the situation and, before I felt too bad about my reaction, a light came on in my dazed attic. I am an introvert. When things get crazy I want to lock myself in with my family and hide from the world. Sometimes it gets so bad that I don’t even want my family. By Monday I did not want to make small talk with some almost friend about how lucky we are. I wanted to hide, but her gushing made perfect sense. She is an extrovert. She was probably so energized by her weekend of soccer, festivals, performances and parties that she was ready to explode, but in a good way. Not the way I was ready to explode.
I tested my theory at work. Sure enough my mom friends who are extroverts thought my weekend sounded amazing and glorious. My introvert friend said, “this time of year is just survival mode” and she is so right. It makes me sad that I can’t revel in this situation. I want to be able to find utter joy in the past weekend, but I can’t, and that’s okay. I am so fortunate, but I am not lucky. I could use a week between each one of the events so I could be present and recharged and delighted for every one of them. This time of year the extroverts are lucky. I am going to avoid them until school is over.