The Short Kid

By , Bronx, NY
When I entered high school, I was 5’1”, and as skinny as can be without being physically ill. I was the short kid. For 14 years, I had always been cute, never hot. Guys were taller than me; girls were taller than me; even sixth graders were taller than me. My parents were considering growth hormones. My height had been an issue since I was a toddler. My small stature defined me.


It was not a definition anyone would be proud of. It was a position of weakness; never being asked to reach up to the top shelf to grab the sugar, but instead crouching behind a desk plugging in a set of speakers because I was literally the only one who could fit. This was the story of my life until the summer after my sophomore year, at the start of which I stood at a still very unimpressive 5’3”
That summer, I endured some of the worst pains I have ever felt, worse than any sprain or broken bone I had encountered. Yet I did not mind this constant agony, recognizing it as growing pains, to which I credit my current height of 5’9”. Upon some research, I concluded some things. I discovered that there is no medical term for growing pains, because there is no proof of a correlation between growth and pain, and that these pains generally do not occur in children over eleven or twelve. As young man of 15 at the time, I deduced that there is a very real correlation between growth and pain, that the only doctor prescribed treatment for this medical mystery is Aspirin, and that my body had decided to be incredibly lazy for nearly half a decade.

Now my particular growth patterns could not keep my own mother interested, and I do not expect them to have that effect on you. However, the perceptions people have maintained of me are in fact note-worthy. To the majority of my high-school colleagues I am still the little kid I was when I walked into the school on my first day; in all fairness however, my perceptions of them vary little from their first day at school. I am still often made to sit in the middle seat of a car, while my shorter, lighter friends sit on the outside because everybody assumes it will make sense spatially.

Having a fairly mild temperament, my friends’ inability to see the person I’ve grown into does not bother me. Instead, I just wonder what will happen next year at college, with a fresh slate. I know what it is like to not be short, but I have yet to experience the feelings associated with my new physique. Perhaps next year, I will be defined by my memory for random events and numbers, my taste in music, or even my love for Japanese food. Almost anything would be a step up.





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emmaj said...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 10:34 pm
Being short yes is a weakness but not always. I myself I'm only 4 foot 11 in. at 17 years old. I was this height since I was 5 though, so I know hight and now shortness. 
 
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