Friday, July 5, 2013

Somewhere around Hobbit-sized

image courtesy of
I'm 5'1".

When I was in high school, that one inch was very important to me. I'm not sure if it's true, but I'd read somewhere that being under five feet tall officially labels you a dwarf. I really didn't want to be a dwarf.

Now, I rarely think of my height at all. It doesn't affect my confidence. It doesn't affect my work. It doesn't affect my social life.

I only notice it when:
  • I use tongs to get drinking glasses out of cabinets.
  • Almost every pair of pants I find needs to be hemmed because there are very few petite sizes in Germany.
  • I drive our VW Touran, and I need a pillow to push me forward in the seat or my leg gets tired from stretching for the gas pedal.
My daughter appears to be inheriting her height from me and not her father. Like it was for me, she is the shortest child in her second grade class. In fact, many kids in first grade are taller. In Karate, all the other kids are taller. In Soccer…you get the picture.

The absolute worst: people constantly comment on how her little brother is almost taller than she is. She really hates that.

Since she's an analytic thinker, she brooded over how tall she'd be someday as a grown up. No amount of me telling her there are advantages (more comfortable in an airplane) made her feel better about it.

But something cool happened the other day. My daughter's second grade teacher is also the principal at her school. He's probably over six feet tall. The district school administrator came to observe him teaching, and he introduced her to the class as his boss. The boss of the school's boss, so to speak. This woman was my height.

My daughter raved about the fact that this tiny lady was Herr Reinbold's boss. Suddenly, height was a non-issue for her.

Since my daughter tends to overthink things, I figure she'll someday forget how happy she was to see this district school administrator. I thought I'd get a list of arguments together of why height doesn't matter or why it's easier to be "too short" than "too tall". Besides my airplane example, does anyone have a suggestion?


  1. When I was young,in high scool, I wished I was taller. Then as time passed I kind of got used to my height and put thoughts of being taller aside. When I was about 40 years old one day at work standing and talking to my three best friends,all taller than me,I felt a little uncomfortable. After this conversation,Dan at 6'6", got in his big truck. I went to him to remind him of something and noticed. He was so tall that the steering wheel was between his knees. WOW I don't think I could be comfortable like that working all day. As I walked away I was and still am happy to be 5'8". So I never wished again to be like somebody else.

  2. Thanks, Dad. Wow, over 6 feet. That's tall. I'll remember that story for the next time she's feeling too short.