The Measure of a Man
I’ve lied to my husband for seventeen years. It’s a white lie, the kind that doesn’t cause nightly tossing and turning, but it’s a lie nonetheless: I told him that I like being short. That being 5-ft 1-inch tall is a good thing, way better than being tall. The proof I offered? On our walks, I walk right under low tree branches. Now isn’t that nice? And in our house, its no problem for me to crawl under furniture to extract wayward crawling triplets. And the balls that roll under the cars in the driveway are easily slithered to when you’re my size, too. It’s darn handy, being diminutive.
However, there are disadvantages: The need to fetch a stepstool to reach the dishes or risk life and limb scaling open drawers to stand on the counter. The fact that I haven’t “seen” a standing-room-only concert in my entire life, merely heard it while staring at some guy’s shoulder blades. That I watch most movies leaning to the side not to be closer to my husband but to see between the heads of the people sitting in front of me. Indeed, there are definite low points to being vertically challenged.
I’ve always wondered if my children would inherit the short gene. Well, the wondering stops here.
Of late, people have been commenting extensively on my sons’ sizes, saying the boys are tall for their age and that they are “so dense!” As I’ve trained myself not to compare them to other children, I couldn’t respond to the comments. Were they big for their age? I didn’t know. Well, yesterday I decided to find out. Pulling out a pencil, a measuring tape, and the bathroom scale, I measured and weighed all three boys then studied growth charts on the Internet. My eyebrows raised in surprise at what I found. It turns out that our fraternal triplet, taller than his brothers by one inch, is in the 97th percentile for height and the 93rd for weight. His brothers, identical twins down to the inch, are in the 95th percentile for height and 85th for weight. Wow. Who would have believed that a mom in the 20th percentile for height and 25th for weight would have big children? Then again, I suppose I shouldn’t be so surprised, since my husband is 6′ 3″. In the gene pool’s grand swim meet, clearly his height/weight genes had the better breaststrokes.
This “big” news tickles me for two big reasons. The first is that, should my boys continue this sprouting, they may just escape some of the bullying and victimization that can happen to boys of smaller stature in the school years. The second reason is that, should they continue this sprouting, it won’t be long before I can throw the stupid stepstool out and just learn to talk louder: “Hey, will someone reach that dish there? . . . Hey, could you fetch that towel down for me? . . . Hey, could you hoist me up so I can see what the guys in They Might Be Giants actually look like?” Ah, the possibilities.
Yes, I think things will soon be looking up for this short mama. Or rather, this short mama will soon be looking up a whole lot more. . . at the beautiful faces of my three grown sons, towering above me.