Long Tall Sally ... and kids
For those of you that don't know me, let me describe myself in one word ... tall. Let me describe my girls ... tall. Okay, maybe not the middle daughter so much but she's starting to stretch. Now let me tell you why I felt the need to describe us, because apparently the world feels it necessary to point it out to us all the time, like we didn't already know we were taller than the majority of girls and women in town. Like they're surprising me with some new fact when they mention how tall I am. "Ohhhh okay, that's why I'm looking down at you instead of face to face. Thanks for pointing that out because I sure couldn't figure out what was going on there." And the thing is it's not like I'm 6'4". I'm 5'9", maybe 5'10" with tennis shoes on. Yes, that's considered taller, but the way people react, you'd think I'd walked straight out of a Ripley's Believe It Or Not story. Like I have to get special shoes made or have all my clothes altered to fit my ginormous stature.
All this use to just happen to me alone, but now that my girls are getting older, they're getting the "Boy, you're tall!" comments too. When the girls and I are all together, you'd a thought the Chicago Bulls basketball team walked in by the looks on people's faces. My oldest daughter, the poor girl, has been dealing with this uncomfortable situation now for the last three years. She started shooting up after 6th grade and is almost as tall as me. About a year ago she expressed how embarrassed she gets when people make comments about her height and I noticed in her pictures, she started slumping. I've tried to tell her it's a good thing to be tall but she disagrees. When you're 13 or 14 years old, you want to be like everyone else, not be singled out as the "tall girl." Or used for other people's services, like the stranger at the grocery store that recently asked her to reach that last bag of chips on the top shelf because their miniature 5'3" selves couldn't reach it, then thank her explaining since she was SO tall they thought she could help them. She responded with a friendly smile but afterwards rolled her eyes commenting that she must be some kind of freak of nature to people. I assured her that over the years, I have been asked many a time to reach the unreachables for people and to this day it still makes me feel like I'm some rare breed from the Island of Amazon Women.
My youngest daughter has faced it since she was a toddler. Before she was two, she was as tall as most 3 or 4 year olds but still wore diapers and spoke a lot of jibberish. I once had a couple nursery workers make a snide comment that she was too old to be wearing diapers and drinking from a bottle in which I was quick to point out she wasn't even 2 yet. They judged the poor baby on her height alone. Last time I checked, baby and toddler milestones are based on age, not height. When the workers realized their mistake, they explained, "Well, she is just SO tall, we just 'assumed' she was older." Really? She's tall? Oh gosh, thanks for informing me of that. Good to know. But sarcasm aside, I responded with, "Well, I'm her mom and I'm fairly tall so ... "In other words, tall mom, tall child, not a hard concept to grasp but I think in their eyes she was some rare oddity that was way behind in her development.
Well, all I know is, we haven't been asked to join any traveling circus yet and Ripley's hasn't called so for now we're gonna consider ourselves accepted in normal culture. We'll just keep smiling when people enlighten us by telling us how tall we are and we'll try to keep our sarcastic responses to ourselves.