There's this girl. She goes to Fruit Bat's school. She's in second grade, I think, but looks like she's in fourth. She's tall for her age. Tall like I was. She's big boned too.
A few days ago we passed her on the playground. Her arms were linked through the arms of a few friends'.
I heard her say, evenly, "I'm not a giant."
And as we walked by, my heart pulled in tight and held there.
She spoke as if being called a Giant didn't hurt. But I wasn't fooled.
Now that I'm 40 (gulp), height questions and observations and jabs don't bother me much. But they used to. When I was in eighth grade, I was 5'11" and weighed 95 pounds.
And my skin, thin as curling jasmine leaves, rippled with every thoughtless comment.
I know we all suffered in junior high (not to mention before and after). I know our hair wasn't right and our clothes were all wrong and we said stupid things, things that made us want to crawl into lockers and hide under bleachers.
But when you tower so, you cannot fit in lockers or under bleachers. You cannot hide. You cannot hope to blend, even for a moment, with kids your own age.
Kitty Cat, who is three until March, is constantly mistaken for a kindergartner. She's going to get it too: The "How's the Weather up there?" and the boys standing conspicuously on tiptoe as she walks by and the stupid, unoriginal questions.
I can only hope she finds it tedious rather than painful. I can only build her up now, tout the benefits of extreme height (you can reach things! you can see at concerts! when it comes time for dating, your being just shy of six-three separates the boys from the men quickly! there's no wasted time! you'll see! It's great!)
I have to believe this girl at Fruit Bat's school has a woman in her life who understands. Who can talk to her. Who will convince her that she's strong and capable and lovely.
Otherwise I may just have to pull her aside and do it myself.