Ever since Mischief obtained the power of speech he has lamented his small stature. He has whined, cried, raged and bemoaned being dwarfed by younger pals, counted as one of the shortest kids in his class and by far the smallest person in the family. Apparently, it is one of the greatest injustices in life, being wee.
I wouldn't know.
It wasn't until my late teen years, when more friends hit their growth spurts that I stood out less and was able to stand tall more. So when I hear my wee, sweet boy complain about being the smallest I don't get it. Small things are cute, cuddly and lovable. Small people can squish in to tight places, don't ever have trouble finding pants long enough and can blend in to a crowd. I think being small would be awesome; and I told Mischief so.
Evidently, I couldn't be more wrong. Small people get patted on the head, picked up and moved against their will, can't reach things on high shelves, always have to sit in the front for class pictures, can't see over taller people at the movies, can't sit in a chair and have their feet touch the floor, get in trouble more than tall people (namely for climbing things), get stuck standing with girls in the choir, have to roll up their pants and stand on their tip-toes a lot. Small people get picked last for basketball (unless they're really fast), have to stand closer to the other guy in a fight (because their arms are shorter) and can't see over the counter at 7-11 (so their brother scoops the change before they even know its there).
Being small sucks!
After hearing Mischief's looong list of complaints we tried to encourage him. We told him that he's only seven and he's the perfect height for a 7 year old. We told him that Mr. Awesome was wee until he was 16 years old and then he had a major growth spurt. We told him that if he fills his body with good fuel (fruit and veg instead of sugar and coffee) that his body will have everything it needs to grow. And we told him that most of all, he has to be patient and that God made his spectacular ... just the way he is.
A few days later we were driving to church and Crafty was singing a song she had learned in Sunday School.
"Read your Bible and pray everyday, pray everyday, pray everyday. Read your Bible and pray everyday and you'll grow, grow, grow!"
"That's the problem!" Mischief exclaimed.
"What's the problem?" I asked.
"The reason why I'm so small is that I pray every day but I forget to read my Bible ... I gotta remember to read that thing so I'll grow faster!" He beamed.
Crafty and I looked at each other and chuckled.
"Oh man!" Mischief groaned. "I just remembered, I don't really know how to read too good. I'm gonna be stuck this small forever!"
Sadly, even though he may not realize it now, I know that Mischief won't stay wee forever. I look at Dude, nearly 12 years old, and marvel at the young man he is becoming. When did that roly-poly baby turn into this tall, lean preteen? And Crafty, the shadow of my chatty, quirky toddler is disappearing in the light of this beautiful, witty young lady whose laughter fills our home and my heart. Even Wee Mischief, that sweet little thumb sucking baby has morphed into this brave, storytelling ball of action. What happened to all those years between now and then? Can I pause today, this day, this moment, to savour their childhood a little longer?
Can I? I know I can't. I can't even stop Dude for wishing away his childhood so that he can become the great scientist that he knows he is destined to be or slow Crafty down as she weaves a cocoon around her little caterpillar self and prepares for the butterfly she can't help but become. And I definitely can't convince Mischief to revel in his wee-ness, to stay a boy child for as long as possible and that being bigger isn't all that its cracked up to be. I can't.
All I can do is hold them, hug them, smell them, savor them. All I can do is make memories, hold each wonderful moment in my heart and celebrate the children they are and the full grown, big people they will inevitably become.
We've had bad luck with our kids - they've all grown up. ~Christopher Morley