As in, shortest-adult-in-the-room short. I can just barely ride the amusement park rides. In some states, I narrowly miss the car booster seat requirement.
I don’t come from a tall family, however I am the pipsqueak of the bunch.
As a child, my height followed the low-percentile curve. My beloved elementary art teacher told me good things come in small packages, and I held onto that sweet comment while classmates made fun of my stature. Around age 10, the red line my pediatrician drew on my growth chart flat-lined. My mom and I visited the endocrinologist at Connecticut Children’s Hospital seeking answers, and, I’d hoped, growth hormones.
They x-rayed my wrist, and there wasn’t anything alarming about my smallness. It was hereditary. The doctor projected I’d grow to 5’3” by adulthood, a number I could tolerate. There was no further talk about growth hormones and no more trips to the hospital. I grew up, although never hit that targeted 5’3”. Damn!
I married a short guy. I really liked this about him when we met – I could look into his eyes without straining my neck! He too, had visited the pediatric endocrinologist. For many other reasons beyond our stature, we fell in love and got married. Short kids were inevitable.
We have two girls, and they’re both petite. My 4 year-old is becoming increasingly aware of her height, and my younger one’s growth just recently started to wane. I get fleetingly sad when I glance at their growth charts. Edie’s peers are starting to make comments about being small, and she’s getting upset.
Last week we brainstormed the good things about being short. Here’s our list:
- We can fit in small places, an excellent advantage when playing hide n’ seek or capture the flag
- We can buy the kids’ ski lift ticket for a ridiculously long time
- We can stretch out in the bathtub
- We save money buying juniors’ shoes and clothes (my idea, not hers)
- We’d have an advantage as gymnasts or jockeys
- Legroom is never a problem
- Getting things off high shelves is a challenge, but you become crafty at problem solving
- People let you move to the front of the crowd
- You can easily sneak away from boring events
- We have a special kinship with fellow shorties of the world!
I’m listening to comedic badass Amy Poehler’s audiobook, Yes Please. Not only are we both small, we also have a many tall girlfriends. She says, “Tall women are attracted to my littleness. They like how I’m always looking up to them, and I like having the option to jump into their pocket when I want to hide”.
Like my soul sister Amy, I hope to demonstrate to my kids that being petite is pretty rad.