Just in case we've never met in real life, let me paint a little picture for you. I'm 5'11" tall. Yes, taller than average. Oddly and strangely tall when I was a teenager. I carried myself with horrible posture during those formative years, as if hunching over would make me appear not as tall as most of my male peers, that's saying if my male classmates were as tall as me. Oh and did I mention towering over my girlfriends? Being tall I would say kicked my self esteem in the ass. I've had a good two decades to come into my own, I'm okay with it. I no longer hunt through shoe racks looking for the flatest shoes I could possibly find, cringing at the thought of shoes making me taller. On a good day because I'm wild and crazy sometimes I even wear heels.
Being tall, it is what it is.
Still to this day if I was to get separated from friends and they were looking for me, TALL would be one of the first words out of their mouth. Have you seen our friend Denise, she's TALL, hair to about here, blue shirt, jeans. It is who I am, TALL.
So what's the big deal. I'm tall, i've dealt with it. Dealt with longer than normal glances, dealt with comments from friends, dealt with the dumb question over and over my favorite being do you play basketball, learned to embrace helping people in stores that can't reach an item. It is who I am, TALL.
Funny enough, i've come to meet my fair share of taller women in the past five years. We even joked with one another asking where were you when I was 16, those rough years. Those awkward years when being oddly tall wasn't helping the situation. We can laugh about it now, having our height as a rite of passage. Even though we may not be the closest of friends, we have our height as a bond, we just know what it's like. I never saw tall women in the media like we do today, Hollywood is full of them (yeah!), SuperModels, WNBA, and Olympic Volleyball Champions. Just to see successful tall women is so wonderful to me!
Now I'm faced with a dilemma. The dilemma is how is the best way to help my own daughters go through this. My oldest daughter is five, but looks like she's at least six or seven. When I went into the casting call for Sj, the interviewer first said to us, "Wow she's tall for six". To which I responded, "She's actually five". Sj's height always comes into conversation, Wow you're so tall, she's so tall, over and over. It is who she is, TALL. Sometimes I say to people well I'm not exactly average height for a woman, does her height surprise you? Or Hello, I'm her mother, over here 5'11", the one that has gone through this already and you're comments aren't helping.
I should know what to do or what to say, having lived this TALL life. But sometimes it's hard. It's not something that is rude to say, but it still is something that becomes imprinted in my mind or my daughter's mind over and over. TALL, TALL, TALL. I never say to another mother, wow your child is a little plump! Or comment on their child's height. I just don't, I know what it feels like. I guess I have that sensitivity filter, it's a part of me, a part of the life I have lived.
The most wonderful part of having tall daughters today, is that women in sports rock. TALL women rock. Olympic gold medal winner, Kerri Walsh is a 6'3" beautiful beach volleyball star! I love seeing tall women grace the television screen, grace the sports world, and give my daughters a sense of belonging. I never really felt that, but I know times are changing.
My goal is to help my daughter's embrace who they are, who they become, their dreams and goals. Part of their journey will be brushing off the TALL and allowing people to get to know them, their quirks and strengths, for TALL is just one part of the whole.