"Ask" by the Smiths is on constant replay in my head this morning as I sent my shy boy off to his last day of nature camp. His best buddy could not be there yesterday, so L was quite a bit apprehensive to go today, worrying that his friend might not come. I can relate all too well to that feeling, that deep anxiety of "who will I talk to?" and "who will I sit with?". As his mama I try to equip him with the tools he needs to work with these situations, and in doing so I often find myself building up my own toolbox.
I've learned to embrace my shyness as just another part of who I am. Even at 38 years old I still find my heart beating a bit too fast when it comes to "who will I talk to?" or "who will I sit with?" There is a lovely TED talk on the gift of introvertedness and plenty of amazing blogger folks out there who have recently written about their own shyness in support of one another. It is really so reassuring to me to see people viewing shyness in a more positive light.
My shy boy is actually a total extrovert. It just takes him awhile to get to that point of comfort with people. He makes friends easily, but doing so often makes him so nervous and unsure of himself. It is my job and my goal to help him to see that this is part of who he is, and that's OK. This can be part of his gift. I have seen him channel his own shyness into empathy for other children who may feel the same, and making some really great little friends.
I came across this blog post this morning and felt compelled to share. When I pick up L from camp I am excited to hear how it went today. I am grateful to have a child who teaches me so much.