People I don’t know.
I’m standing on the sidelines watching my son excel at another sport. I’ll talk about that in a moment. But I’m standing there with mirrored sunglasses (even though it’s cloudy), ball cap, and phone in my hand. My wife (The Hippy) is talking to a group of people I’ve never seen before.
Practice lasts an hour, but within minutes the yapping group has made their way to my bubble, and now I am part of it.
Though I say nothing, one of the soccer mom’s says to my wife, “He doesn’t act like an introvert.”
Two things. #1. I guess I have spoken to her before. #2. I may not act like an introvert, but apparently I am invisible since I was right there but wasn’t included in the conversation about me.
So begins another sports season for my son.
He’s six years old and in the 95th percentile in height. He’s taller than some of the 2nd graders in his school even though he is in kindergarten. If he didn’t look like me when he was younger I would have my doubts since he’s going to be taller than my by the time he gets to 2nd grade.
Also he’s already better at sports than me.
Ok, in full disclosure I am not living vicariously (thanks spell check) through my son’s sports activities. I’m telling the truth.
This is his fourth season of soccer. One year he averaged nine goals per game. Yes, nine. Sometimes the final score would be 9-0. Last season was the first season with goalies. He only scored one goal last season. That was because he became the defensive star. This season there are two kids that are barely taller than his elbow. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of goals this year.
Basketball was the same way. His first season he was the only kid on his team that could get the ball to the rim. Or dribble while running. Or, for some kids, run without tripping.
This year was the first year that he did wrestling. He was going up against kids that have wrestled for five years and were two years older than he was. He made state. State was the only tournament the entire season he didn’t medal. Height certainly has its advantages.
The first time he went bowling he got a strike on his first turn…roll…toss? I just realized I have no idea what to call his first…ummm, bowl?
Of course, he caught a fish the first time he ever cast a lure. That one kind of pissed me off.
He also throws the baseball further than anyone on his team last year during T-ball. This year is his first season of Babe Ruth baseball. I expect to see some professional scouts there.
Keep in mind, I AM NOT living vicariously through my son.
We have been fortunate to be in a position where we let him try different things. If he doesn’t like something, he has to finish out the season and then doesn’t have to do it next year. Sports aren’t the only thing. He’s also tried out for plays, has a guitar and drum set at my mother-in-laws house, and even has his own YouTube channel.
He’s an overachiever, and even though he did awesome at wrestling, it was also an eye opener for sportsmanship and losing. It’s one on one, and when you lose, you stand there and shake the person’s hand who bested you. Then you shake the other coach’s hand. Then you cry on my shoulder for 10 minutes.
Why did I go into all of this detail when I have said twice…and about to make it a third time…that I do not live vicariously through my son?
Because he forces my social calendar to be filled at all times.
I live unvicariously through my son. Ok, spellcheck told me that unvicariously is not a word but YOU DON’T OWN ME SPELLCHECK!
Wrestling practice, soccer practice, baseball practice, basketball practice, etc, etc, etc.
Other than practice, what do they all have in common?
Well for one, I have to leave the house. Second, I have to be around other people. People who don’t think I “act” like an introvert. Sometimes The Hippy is there to deflect, but much like having headphones on, people still get through.
I’m happy that he doesn’t have my social anxieties. I’m glad that he doesn’t have to “act” like someone else.
He truly gets shy at times. Hell, he’s six years old and thinks girls have cooties.
But there is a MAJOR difference between being an introvert and being shy.
I think there is a difference between being an introvert and not liking people too.
It’s not that I don’t like people; it’s just that I don’t not like people.
Yeah, I meant to say that.
By the way, don’t forget to check out my new facebook page too: https://www.facebook.com/theprofessionalintrovert