I am an ambivert.
For years, I thought I was an extrovert, but when I became a new mom my alone time dropped to essentially zero and I was quickly introduced to my introverted side.
In retrospect, I wonder how I could have missed the signs. While other kids were playing t-ball and tag and breaking windows with BB guns (it was Texas after all), I was climbing into an upper bathroom cabinet with my flashlight and the latest Baby-Sitters Club.
Looking at that cabinet now, I wonder how I fit inside for so many years. I even decorated it with posters. I suppose this also illustrates that I’m sort of the opposite of claustrophobic. When I said this to my husband, he said, “What, agoraphobic?” No, I mean I love small, confined spaces. Small means cozy, small means I don’t have to move much, small means just enough space for a book and not enough space for a pile of laundry to be folded or ball to be dropped.
My children are clearly still figuring out who they are, but they both love their alone time (even my “loud” child), and my daughter definitely inherited the gift of crafting tiny cozy spaces. We have three indoor play tents (two purchased by the children at garage sales), and recently added a cardboard kitty condo:
(The only thing kitty about this condo is that my daughter often pretends to be a cat. The house number is completely random, but is clearly the right choice.)
And, of course, my husband is a ten-for-ten, nothing ambi- about him, introvert.
All this to say, the Asbys value quiet. We think solitude is absolutely lovely. And while some of us need more than others, every single one of us takes some time in the kitty condo now and then (well, not literally – my kitty condo is a hammock).
If you or your littles are Pro-Quiet like the Asbys, check out these excellent reads celebrating the softer moments:
Deborah Underwood and Renata Lewska gave us “jelly side down quiet.” I am forever grateful.
More magic from Sarah Stewart and David Small; their Isabel likes small-space quiet just as much as the Asbys do.
Beautifully illustrated, Albert’s Quiet Quest is great for promoting understanding and compromise between introverts and extroverts in the same neighborhood, family or classroom.
A little Hum and Swish for the quiet creatives out there.
The Silence Slips In is a great reminder that silence is a friend you can take anywhere.
The Invisible Boy is heavier, but empowering for any kid who feels as if they fade into the background and is definitely an excellent empathy tool. Kindness steals the show in this one.
Even the illustrations feel quiet in this lovely read-aloud from Erin and Philip Stead.
The protagonist in Quiet Girl in a Noisy World is not really a girl at all – she’s in her mid- to late-twenties. That said, I think teens and even pre-teens can relate to her. Full disclosure, I don’t remember if there’s any grown-up content (I think not, but check it out yourself first).
Quiet for the grown ups and . . .
Quiet Power for the kids! My son and I just started reading this one together (lots of “that’s exactly how I feel!”), but since I really loved Quiet, I assume the teen/pre-teen version is full of the same celebration of quiet souls that I loved so much in the original version.
Happy reading, in whatever kitty condo suits you best.
Now excuse me while I peruse tiny homes on Instagram . . .