“Mom, why are you so small?” String Bean asked me the other night. Good question! I mean, I’m not ridiculously small. I’m petite. Very. At 5’1” and a hundred pounds, I’m on the small side, sure, the smallest in my family by far, but I know there are even smaller moms out there. I take note of them whenever I see one. My taller friend Janie and I used to play a game of it, any time we were standing in a group, line, or crowd. She’d scan the people around me until she’d found a likely candidate, then say “That one. I bet you’re taller than her.” And I’d casually go stand beside some unsuspecting woman, just to see if I had a few millimeters on her.
It’s not that I want to be taller. I’ve always liked being small. After all, I feel like a whole human being. And when you’ve been looking at the chests and chins of everyone around you your whole life, that’s just normal, you know? Why would I wish for something other than the norm? Not to mention my laundry loads are smaller, my suitcases easier to lift, and in general I just take up less space than your average human adult. I’m not a loud, space-dominating type of person, so being small suits my personality perfectly. But to have your five-year-old notice that you’re a small mom, as moms go, kind of brings the point back home for a moment. I know it won’t be long before she passes me up. She’s already up to my highest rib, and her t-shirts are starting to look a lot like mine in the pile of laundry when I’m folding and sorting piles. I’ll have to come up with a good explanation of my smallness, as well as a good description of how it feels, because I have a feeling String Bean’s never going to experience being the shortest person around.