Friday, June 3, 2011


My youngest is tall for her age.  Not just a little tall, but very tall.  People make comments about it all the time.  She hates it of course.  Once she asked me if her dad and I hadn't made a mistake (we are awfully absent-minded sometimes) and lost a year; maybe she was a whole year older than we thought...  No, there has been no mistake; she will always be standing out in the crowd (especially here in Central America).  People will continue to exclaim (often  rather rudely) about her height.

She was at a classmate's birthday party last week.  She is a full head taller than most of the girls and two heads taller than many of the boys.  The birthday boy's grandmother declared that "that girl could not possibly be in Manuelito's class!"  Why yes señora she is (and no, she did not fail a year).  I pointed out to my daughter that "that lady was quite rude."  I think it's important that she understands that.  Commenting on other people's bodies is rarely kind, or necessary.  I remember being a child and thinking that everything adults said was true or right.  The fact is, adults say plenty of thoughtless things that kids don't need to take to heart.

Sometimes when my daughter is playing somewhere with other children, an adult will come along and asks her how old she is, and then exclaim at her height or her bigness.  The way she moves instantly changes.  She becomes self-conscious and too aware of her long legs.  The level of fun clearly goes down a notch.  I hate that.

They took a group picture at the birthday party she was at last week.  She brought the photo home from school the other day.

"Where are you?"  I asked, puzzled.

"Well, you see that pink dot?  That's my hair ribbon.  I hid because everyone was saying I was too tall and had to move.  I didn't feel like being in the picture."

 She is my beautiful baby and I wish she could go through life without ever having her feelings hurt.  There are afflictions much worse than being "too tall" and I am very grateful for her health and vigor.  I do wish people would shut up about it though, and just let her be seven and tall.

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