The Tall and Short of It

imageI was 5’9″ tall by the 8th grade. I could count on one hand how many boys were taller than I was. It wasn’t much better in high school.

There were no tall shops, tall departments, tall anything. I spent many hours letting out hems, or stretch-stretch-stretching my wet jeans and hanging them to dry, resulting in fabric so stiff, they could stand up by themselves.

I had “cute” friends. I would never be “cute.” I was born bigger than “cute.” I was smart, had great friends, wonderful family. But I always felt like “the tall girl” first and foremost.

I really can’t say when my attitude about my height changed. Maybe it was when I met my husband, who is 6’5″. Luckily, it was before we had kids that I grew to really love being different, because they didn’t have a chance. On my side, my grandpa was 6’4″, brother 6’6″, sister 5’11”. My husband’s family was even more impressive: grandmother 6″, mother 5’11”, dad 6’3″, sister 5’11”. The odds were leaning in that direction!

Today, at 19 years old (they are twins), my son is 6’3″, my daughter is 5’8″. Neither of them has ever been self-conscious about being tall. They were both athletes in high school, and their height made them special.

And I’ve learned to celebrate my height. After all, I can gain 10 pounds before anyone even starts to notice. The higher my heels, the longer my legs look – and what women (or man, for that matter) doesn’t want legs a mile long. And I’ve grown to appreciate the stares that my family gets when we walk into a restaurant in all our towering glory.

So I’m good – but i still have to hang up my jeans!

Celebrate your size — whatever that may be!

Check out this story from last Sunday’s CBS Sunday Morning about how tall women feel about dating shorter men — and the men who date them.

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