June 12, 2013

Standing tall

As SB ran around the playground on the last day of school, giving hugs and saying goodbye to her friends, I snapped photos. And was struck by this one:

She certainly is my daughter. And boy, did this photo bring back memories.

I was the tallest person in my class for most of my school years. And I hated it. When I went to a new school in 7th grade, there was one girl taller than me. We became fast friends. The boys didn't catch up to us until about the 10th grade.

Being tall as a young girl and adolescent is awkward. It makes you stand out at a time when all you want to do is fit in. Be like everyone else - in order to be liked by everyone else. You remember those days, don't you?

I wish I could tell you I had the self-confidence to not care, but I didn't. I remember in HS I used to do a semi-squat in pictures so I didn't stand out so much. I don't think I minded standing out necessarily; I was just not comfortable with why I did.

Boys would ask me to dance simply because my burgeoning breasts were at their eye level. If I said yes, they'd snicker and flash their buddies a thumbs up sign from the dance floor. I rarely said yes.

The clothes that were in never fit me. I remember one shopping trip where I tried on every style of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans the store had in my size, then sat in the dressing room crying because none of them were going to work.

Most pants fit me like capris before anyone was wearing capris. They simply did not make clothes for tall girls back then. At least not the cool stuff. Fortunately, that has changed.

As a grown woman I LOVE being tall. I embrace it. But I didn't always. And I don't want that to be SB's experience. My hope is to help her have enough confidence that she will stand tall with pride.

And know she "stands out" because she is bright and creative and beautiful on the inside. Not because she is tall.

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