Posted by: Jamie Stamm | September 12, 2008

Measuring up

I’m always a little bit surprised when people remark on my height.

Like this morning, when I went to volunteer at my daughter’s school.

“Wow,” her teacher said as I entered the room. “You’re really tall. I remembered that you were blond, but I didn’t realize you were so tall.”

At 5 foot, 8 inches, I don’t consider myself tall, although I do tower about 4 inches above the “average” American woman.

In my family, however, 68 inches just doesn’t measure up. I’m a good 1 1/2 to 2 inches shorter than my mom, and my dad and brother are both over 6 feet tall. My grandfather was 6 foot 4 and all his sisters topped the 6-foot mark, my male cousins all outgrew me by the age of 14, and I had a great uncle who I swear was 7 foot (he also had a head full of the whitest hair I’ve ever seen, which – combined with his somewhat freakish height – scared the heck out of me when I was a kid).

And, of course, growing up surround by tall folk, I chose a strapping mate (my husband is 6 foot 1).

I think what makes people think I’m taller than I am is that, even though I didn’t get his overall height, I did inherit my grandfather’s long legs (they’re my favorite body feature, as long as you stop before you get to my post-baby thighs). Add a pair of heels and a skirt (like I was wearing today), and I guess I do look a bit Amazonian.

The other reason I can understand Cera’s teacher’s surprise: my daughter is tiny (some might describe her as “petite,” but I think it’s even more than that). Even though she’s one of the older kids in her class (thanks to a January birthday), she’s also one of smallest, measuring in at just over 43 inches. No big deal – it just means she’ll have to be a point guard instead of a center.

There is still hope for Anthony to fit into the family mold, though. At his 2-year-old physical, he was in the 95th percentile in height (and the 5th in weight – that means he’s 100 percent perfect, right?).

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