Friday, October 30, 2015

Testing Who We Are

I still like having the actual book.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
This book came recommended by several.

Modern societal norms encourages self-assessment. We are given opportunities to make sense of our personalities and our inner core. There are activities and quizzes at work, in school, on teams, from magazines and in books, just to name a few. Some of my favorites include Myers Briggs, Strength Finders, Love Languages and Stand Out. I profess a strong tendency towards the positive psychology movement. The hope is we will be more comfortable with who we are and by sharing this information, our relationships will benefit.

I admit to corralling Commuter Husband, Oldest Son and Youngest Son into many of these exercises in self-exploration. I may have dragged along a colleague or two as well as friends and other relatives.

Tonight, on page 13 of the Introduction in Quiet, there was a unsophisticated questionnaire with twenty statements requesting a true or false response. I called all four family members around the fire and we took it together.


  • Commuter Husband - 18 True
  • Oldest Son - 16 True
  • Youngest Son - 6 True
  • Me - 4 True 
And on page 14 is the statement "The more often you answered "true," the more introverted you probably are."

Commuter Husband and I are well aware of how introvert and extrovert are defined. Oldest Son was also quite knowledgeable of these characteristics which I attribute to a Wellness curriculum at his school and his  voracious reading tendencies. Youngest Son, age thirteen and in 7th grade, had no understanding of the two terms yet.

As a parent of teens, I want to have these conversations with my sons. While I certainly see the benefit of self-understanding, the real lesson I want them to learn is tolerance of those who are different. Obviously, Commuter Husband and Oldest Son will approach the world differently than Youngest Son and myself. How cool that we get this interplay of personalities?! BUT, I also know conflict surfaces among differing personality types. Turning that tension into a positive is completely doable but it takes conscious effort and sincere respect for how a glorious mix of personal qualities paints the world with way more colors ...
Commuter Husband was appalled that I wrote in the book! No surprise that we have different opinions  - ha!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Embracing My Introvert(s)

Tonight Oldest Son and I are finishing dinner and I am peppering him with suggestions for the weekend: 

Me nicely "How about you ....?"

Me trying again "What about you ...."

Me more persistently "You can ...."

Me reaching "I can invite ..."

Oldest Son responds with sly grin but completely serious "This is the problem with extroverted people."

I laugh and sincerely reply "You are so right."

Pause in the conversation ...

Me asking Oldest Son "How about we go to a movie this weekend?"

Lucky extroverted me gets to hang out with my favorite introvert. Love this kid who just so happens to be allot like my Commuter Husband - go figure.

Hmmmm .... LATE BREAKING UPDATE: Apparently when teen introverts get invited somewhere by a teen friend, they go. So Commuter Husband (the adult introvert) Date Night it is! Still Lucky Me.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Youngest Son, Mommy & History

13 year old Youngest Son is doing his homework:


Youngest Son yells "Hey Mommy!"

Me as I walk to the dining room table and casually reply "Yes."

Youngest Son tells me "I am reading about this case about a man who kidnapped and raped ... and he plead the ah, ah, ..."

Me finishing his sentence "The Fifth."

Youngest Son says "Yeah ... well it went to the Supreme Court because his rights ... ah, ah, ..."

Me finishing his sentence "Miranda."

Youngest Son with incredulous sincerity "How did you know that?"


Youngest Son yells again "Hey Mommy!"

Me replying as I walk from my office "Coming."

Youngest Son reveals "I am reading about the abortion ..."

Me prompting him "Roe versus Wade."

Youngest Son looks at me with big, wide eyes clearly surprised I know the name of the case.

Youngest Son adds wryly "Of course it is in Texas."

Me with a smirk as I head back to my office "Of Course."


Youngest Son shouts at me across the house "Did you know that I will be able to vote my Senior Year?"

Me in response "I did know that."

Youngest Son shouts again "Did you know you cannot make me go to Religious School my Senior Year?"

Me in a surprised loud voice "I did NOT know that."

Youngest Son walking to my office telling me excitedly "It is my right in the Constitution - Freedom of Religion. Yes! I love the Constitution."

A good night with the History Book.