Last year, we cancelled Noelle’s 3rd birthday party because she kept shaking her head, saying, “I don’t want to blow out my birthday cake. I don’t want everyone to watch me.” So we stooped down to her level, looked her in the eye, and asked if she wanted a birthday party. She shook her head no, and that was that. It wasn’t going to be a very big affair either way, but we wanted her to feel comfortable and at ease on her special day. She didn’t want any fanfare, so we obliged.
That is just one example of the introversion that has characterized Noelle since she was born. Not only is she introverted, but she is also incredibly sensitive, keen, and aware – I noticed this even at the tender age of 3 months. She is what can be described as an orchid child.
Orchid children, in contrast, are highly sensitive to their environment, especially to the quality of parenting they receive. If neglected, orchid children promptly wither—but if they are nurtured, they not only survive but flourish. In the authors’ poetic language, an orchid child becomes “a flower of unusual delicacy and beauty.” (source)
I especially love that sentence at the very end. It’s exactly how I see Noelle – as someone with unusual delicacy, thoughtfulness, and grace. I can just sit and stare at her for hours sometimes, observing her gentle, precise movements since she puts obvious thought into every move she makes.