How much does one imagine, how much observe? One can no more separate those functions than divide light from air, or wetness from water. ~Elspeth Huxley
It’s funny how everyone’s perception is different from the next person to the next to the next and so on. Then, if you compare an adult’s perception, or usually a lack there of, with a child’s, the possibilities are endless.
Since Kyle’s birthday, it had me really thinking and reminiscing. We just measured Kyle on the back of his bedroom door in the beginning of August, which we’ve been doing since he was a little tyke of three years. This year I realized we missed two years in a row, ages eleven and twelve. How did that happened? I have no idea. Probably everyone getting busy and running around, that sort of thing. But luckily I got us back on track this year.
It’s funny, when I mentioned it to Kyle about measuring him up on the door, he got this ornery look to him, the same one he’s projected since we started this tradition. Seriously, the exact same look of excitement. In fact, he’s always too thrilled to be measured and see his progress compared to the last measurement. He’s always loved watching his own growth, as have I.
You see Kyle has always been a short and compact package. Yes, our little man has consistently displayed signs of being vertically challenged. Over the years, we’ve mentally made note of Kyle compared to the rest of the kids in his daycare, elementary school and now junior high. Without argument, he’s notoriously been in the shorter group. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, just a mental note. However, over the last couple of years, Kyle has really started to stretch up.
This attention to height was most certainly not brought on by my family nor me, it came from the one an only, Kyle. Yes, from the time he could walk for some reason he became obsessed with his height. All on his own. Perhaps it was something heard in passing, unintentionally, or something he saw or most likely something perceived. Regardless, Kyle has always kept tabs on his own growth progress, with respect to vertical distance. He never cared about his horizontal circumference.
How do we know? There was a day that brought this observation to our attention. It started with me sleeping on the couch. Yes, I was taking one of my famous naps, not that naps are famous or unusual but in our family I am notorious for my midday naps, usually on Sunday. I LOVE naps. Anyway, I was laying on my back on the couch with my legs stretched out in front of me. I’m guessing I looked like someone deceased in a casket, with my hands folded over my chest, but regardless, Kyle didn’t take in that comparison. Nope, instead he took notice to the length of my legs.
Mom later told me that Kyle was playing on the floor right beside me, like he usually did and stopped to look up at my resting body. Kyle turned to my mom and said, “Gigi, when I get older I want long legs like Aiya (Aunt Heather).” What made him notice my legs? And what made my legs look longer than anyone else’s is beyond me? Mom and I were cracking up. Mom thinks it was just the way I laying that gave the illusion of longer legs. But then again to a two year old, or so, I guess I did look giant like.
To be honest, I was flabbergasted! I am taller for a chick, but not abnormally tall by no means. My five foot six inch stature doesn’t measure up to some of my female cousins who are closer to six foot. Let’s not even talk about some of the dudes in the family, easy six foot plus. Granted, my mom might hit a little over five foot couple inches, and my dad has shrunk quite a bit over the years to slightly taller than me. My sister always beat me by a few inches, but she too has shrunk. I guess we are a family of about the same height. My brother on the other hand, made the six foot mark. Plus, his long lanky legs gave him the illusion of a skyscraper.
Kyle’s asked about his dad with respect to height and we’ve informed him about Ryan’s beanpole physic and tall stature. I guess since Ryan has moved on to a better place, I’m the next best thing for Kyle to gauge his progress. I’ll take it any day!
Regardless, ever since that faithful day, Kyle truly has always measured his legs against mine, keeping tabs and waiting for the day he surpassed me. Now that he’s thirteen, he measures in at about five foot two inches, just under my mom, resting just above my chin. Our little man is truly growing up before our eyes.
Over years, I never wanted Kyle to focus too hard on his height. He does have the genes to be short or tall, it’s a coin toss. I’ve always told him it doesn’t matter how tall he is or ends up to be, what’s really important is that he walks in the way of the Lord and demonstrates qualities of humility, compassion, integrity and forgiveness. I’ve also told him he is very blessed for God giving him such an insightful brain and intelligence and two working legs. Not to mention the kid does have a strong personality, when he wants to. In my eyes, he has it all, regardless of his height.
I guess the stress of some are not understood by others. I’m not saying Kyle is obsessed over his height, but he does take note. I hope no matter what God’s plans are for Kyle, whatever path he is headed toward, I hope Kyle is appreciative and really focuses on what’s truly important in life, for he is truly blessed!