I was at the grocery store with my son. I went to grab some bananas and turned around to see him standing in the middle of aisle, talking to a middle aged man. The man had a bemused look on his face and as I got closer I could hear my son chattering excitedly to him.
“And my mom got me a Lunchable and I am going to have it for dinner and she didn’t get my sister one and I don’t even have to share! Oh! And we got yogurt!”
I smiled apologetically at the man (who was just trying to get some lettuce when Miles decided to share his exciting news) and once again found myself both marveling at and worrying about my son’s extreme extroversion.
My son will talk to ANYONE, any time. He gives hugs to strangers and has been on the receiving end of “we don’t kiss at school” conversations more than once. He is funny and charming but also totally lacking in some basic social boundaries, I’m afraid.
I worry about it sometimes, that he’ll put people off or that he’ll get his heart broken or feelings hurt when his friendliness isn’t well received. But I also think that his extroversion might end up being his greatest strength when he is an adult. Whatever career he goes into, I have no doubt he’ll be able to work a room and build relationships.
I have a new theory that the personality traits that drive you most crazy when your kids are small are actually what will emerge as their greatest gifts. For Miles that is his extroversion. For Evelyn it is her fearlessness and strong sense of self. Evelyn is rough and tumble and seems to know her own mind through and through. This leads to jumping and rough housing and tantrums now but I not-so-secretly hope she never loses that part of her personality
While this perspective helps me feel a little more patient and a little less worried, I still need to figure out how to teach Miles about the importance of some boundaries, lest he get expelled from first grade for sexual harassment.
(C’mon kid, let’s stick to high-fives, okay?)
On an unrelated note: look at how cute my soccer player (he is Robin Van Persie of the Netherlands, not just any random soccer player, as he informed every house last week) and butterfly were!