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Nancy Okerlund
Volume 2, Issue 12, 07/10/08

Introvert Grandmother

The day before yesterday I officially joined the grandmothers club! My first grandchild, known these past many months as "Baby JJ", (her parents' first names both start with "J") came out and got her new name, Skylar Jane.

I started wondering about being an introvert grandmother last December, the day we got the news about Baby JJ's upcoming arrival. I started wondering because my family made comments about what I think might be described as my "subdued" response.

It was cheerful commenting. And I suppose because they're so used to me talking about introverts, they even decided it was an introvert way to respond.

For me, of course, how I responded was just how I responded. I was in shock. Not that newlyweds announcing they're having a baby is shocking information. But getting the news that you're going to be a grandmother is a shock (of sorts :-)

And I was in awe. In awe that a new precious little family member was in our midst.

I do think they were right - I responded like an introvert. Introverts tend to have a slower pace than extroverts'. Our longer brain pathway needs more processing time than extroverts'. Often we don't talk about what we're thinking. When we get new input, we're clearer about our thoughts and feelings after sleeping on them. We like to reflect on things - and we tend to speak softly.

So I had fireworks going on when I found out about Baby JJ, but they were inside.

Over the months of her incubating, I've noticed that when people ask me how I'm doing with becoming a grandmother, I don't have much to report. It's as if the grandmother in me has been incubating like Baby JJ. I don't know whether that's because I'm an introvert or not.

But it probably is. Introverts like to know a lot about what we experience - we like depth. It's a little hard to have much perspective on being a grandmother before your grandchild is out and about, giving you legitimacy :-)

Now Baby JJ has finished incubating and now I'm a "real" grandmother. And I'm still an introvert - which makes me an introvert grandmother.

I wonder how I'll behave.

I already have one of those tiny photo albums that's easy to carry around with you. But it was a gift (from an extrovert :-) - I probably wouldn't have bought it myself.

Over the past several years, as I've watched more of my peers becoming grandmothers, I can tell it's a powerful club I've joined. The criteria for membership may be grandchildren but the main activity is love. I'm glad I got to join.

End of food for thought - on to a practical idea:

A Practical Idea for Introverts and Extroverts

Wonder whether your grandmothers are/were introverts or extroverts and think about how their love comes/came through.

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