My older daughter, Maggie, is quite tall for her age. She is six years old, turning seven in November. Last year in her kindergarten class, she towered over most of the other kids. I am sure first grade will prove to be no different - - I just measured her on her growth chart on her wall yesterday, and she has grown 3 1/2 inches since her birthday last year, putting her at just over 55 inches in height. When we bought her back-to-school shoes a few weeks ago, she needed a women's size 7. Looking back in my school books where my mom recorded information about me when I was young, I found that Maggie is the same height I was when I was in about the fifth grade....of course, I was always the smallest kid in my class until about 8th grade, so that may not be the best comparison. Maggie has the height and form that I always(and still do) envy. Despite being so much taller than most other kids her age, I am so proud of the way Maggie carries her height . . .she has a long, lean, strong athlete's body, and she carries herself with such grace. She can also run like the wind.
One difficult thing that my daughter has had to endure since the time she was about three though, is that people are always so shocked when they find out how old she actually is. They will ask her how old she is, and once she answers, she always gets the same response, "wow . . . you are really tall for your age!" Many times now when people ask, they will give that surprised expression, but before they can say anything, Maggie will comment for them, "I know. . . I'm really tall for my age." She has countless people that tell her that she will make a good basketball player someday. She has asked on more than one occasion, "Do I have to play basketball?" What do people say to kids who are really small for their age? You'd make a good jockey?
Another difficulty Maggie faces is that people who don't know how old she is always assume that she is much older than she actually is. I think that even the people who know her expect her to act more mature, simply because she has the build of an older child. Sometimes it is easy to forget that she is only six.
I have, at times, been given "that look" by folks who don't believe me when they learn how old she is. When Maggie was five, we ate at a restaurant in which kids five and under eat for free. I told the waitress that we had two children five and under. She looked right at me and blatantly rolled her eyes and let out a little snort as if to say, "yeah, right!" She didn't argue with me, but it was clear that she thought I was trying to cheap out on her.
Only about 8 1/2 inches and a half shoe size separates me from my six year old. I am working very hard to instill disclipline in my fast-growing child. After all, it won't be too long before she's looking down at me.