My daughter recently turned four, and as she pouted and wrapped her hands into my shirt, her legs going limp as everyone sang “Happy Birthday,” I suddenly realized I am raising a little introvert. I had a glimpse last year when Elsa and Anna came down our stairs and exclaimed it was “Olivia’s Coronation Day!” The moment twenty or so heads turned, searching for Liv, I was overcome with a wave of emotion emanating from her tiny body. Her bottom lip quivered, her eyes shot downward, and if she could have crawled into herself she would have done it right then thinking, You can keep your tiara, lady!
I look back over the last four years of birthday pictures and find that in every photo where she is posed or the center of attention, she looks as if she wants to join a nunnery. I have struggled with what I thought were tantrums while apologizing all over myself, She must be tired. She’s just funny around new people, and wondered why she chose social moments to let me know she wasn’t going to like someone if I wanted her to like them.