Throughout grade school, I was the second shortest kid in my class. The shortest kid was an actual little person, yet I remember her being way more confident in her stature than I was.
I hated being short. It made me feel powerless and insignificant. I hated being at perfect head-patting height, like I was everybody’s pet dog. The worst was being teased and called “Little Amy.” This was long before Lil’ Kim and Lil Wayne made that sound cool.
From an early age, if you asked me what qualities I sought in my future husband, I always said the same thing: tall. I wanted to breed with someone whose genes would obliterate mine, saving my kids from the plague of shortness. And guess what? I succeeded, at least with the husband part. He stands a glorious 6’2″, so I assumed my kids would eventually tower over me.
I may have assumed wrong. At her last checkup, my 6-year-old clocked in around the 30th percentile in height, which isn’t bad. But if you lined up all the kids in her kindergarten class, she might actually be the second shortest, just like I was. (California kids get too much sunshine and are freakishly tall, if you ask me.)
I don’t think my daughter is nearly as neurotic or self-conscious as I was. But if she ever does start to resent being petite, I’ll be there to share these things that every short girl should know:
1. You’ll wish you looked older. People will make snap judgements based on your height and think you are younger and less mature than you really are, working against all of your best efforts to seem grown up. I was mortified that my mom could still get the child price for me at the movies when I was in my teens. But years later, when I was still getting carded in my thirties, it wasn’t so bad.
2. You might get left out. There will be that moment when your whole third grade class is boarding the best ride at the amusement park and you get stopped by a sign reading “You must be THIS tall to ride.” And it sucks. But you’ll catch up in a summer or two and never look back.
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