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We’re visiting my parents this week. Last night, the girl and I slept cuddled on a futon while the boy and his daddy shared a mattress on the floor.

The kids have been having a blast. There’s a neighbor kid who’s spent a lot of time here, playing with them–Violet loves chasing him around, blowing raspberries.

My parents have the kind of house where people are constantly coming and going. They rent out portions of their house and the tenants don’t keep to themselves. They live near family and somebody is constantly dropping by. I don’t realize how isolated I am in my regular life, how much I close myself up inside my bubble, until I come to visit–and in some ways, I’m reminded of why I’m so solitary. It also explains why I wish the neighbors behind us would drop in unexpected sometimes. There’s a hole in their fence and they could cut through the green space and come through our gate, no problem. I’d love it if they came by to play sometimes. 

I once brought some pastry by a friend’s house, out of the blue, and we ended up having tea and an impromptu play date for the kids. It was oddly fantastic. There’s something about social spontaneity–even for an introvert like me. Because I like keeping to myself. Large groups tire me. But small groups of people I love–especially one-on-one conversations–there is nothing like it. It’s a high.

Then there are the other gatherings. Thanksgiving is usually our first big party of the holiday season. Sometimes it’s the biggest. We’ve got the girl’s birthday coming up (she’s going to be two!) and we like to host a holiday party and we’ll have family visiting twice this December.

When I was younger, I might have been terrified by this. I used to be terrified of people. Sometimes I sit and think about it–when faced with the prospect of new people or large groups, I was legitimately SCARED. I’d love to claim I have the secret to getting over this fear but honestly, some hormone switched in me after I had kids. Perhaps there was a psychological element re: dealing with Sam’s medical problems, having to talk to doctors and nurses, be pushy, get over myself for the sake of my kid. Whatever it was, people no longer terrify me. Perhaps I just don’t have the energy.

 

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