Never Let Them Keep You Down

I am excited to be participating in another SITS Girl blogging event.  They are always so much fun, and really help my blog be seen by new and different readers.  I have been so busy lately that I have been ignoring my blog except for a quick post here or there.  Early last week, our laptop decided to go on permanent vacation, so that was a bit of an adventure.  I can’t tell you enough how important it is to back up your pictures, files, and other important information.  And to write down your favorite URLs along with the passwords, and put them in a safe location!

Anyway, back to the reason for this post.  Today’s writing prompt involves a school memory.  This is definitely a hard one because I pretty much blocked school memories from my brain.  I hated school, I really did.  Back when I went to school, people were cruel.  If you weren’t part of the “in-crowd” you were pretty much out of luck.  Now that I am older, I can look back and clearly see that those people didn’t matter.  Despite being pretty and popular, they didn’t have “it all”. They were insecure with themselves, and the only way they knew how to deal with that was to make other people feel miserable.  For my entire life, I have always been teased, ridiculed, whatever for being short.  I am not even 5 feet tall, and it is something that I have learned to live with.  But my school career was a living hell because of it. I never felt like I was worth the space I took up, and I let these people keep me from fully enjoying school.  I wish I could have had the strength to stand above their insults and excel in school.  But at the same time, if things would not have happened the way they did, I would not be married to my best friend, and my wonderful kids would not exist. So I guess you could say that I am a stronger person because of it.  Because I would not trade my husband or children for anything or anyone!!

I feel bad for my kids because they are the shortest in their class.  And while they don’t directly mention it to me, I know that they are being made fun of because of it. I hear comments made to them by other kids, and even by some thoughtless adults. These are some of the dumb comments I get: 

  • Doesn’t it bother you that your kid is the smallest in his class?
  • Does your son realize how small he is for his age?
  • Wow your kid is in that grade?  He’s so small.  My x year old is bigger than him.

Yeah, your son may be years younger and inches bigger than my boy, but that doesn’t mean he is or will ever be better. Don’t you think I know that my kids are small for their age? Do you think I want it to be that way? Don’t you realize that they can hear what you are saying? My kids may be small for their age, but they have never been to the principal’s office for disciplinary actions, they have never gotten detention, they have never been suspended from riding the bus because they don’t follow the rules, and they have never needed any additional assistance at school, in fact they are the ones the teachers turn to when they need peer tutoring.  My two are also the first to welcome new kids to the class or neighborhood, they play with any and all kids despite their backgrounds or age or who their parents are, they look out for younger kids like they were their own siblings, and they certainly have respect for other people’s values and ideas.

I guess most people don’t realize that adults can big one of the biggest sources of misguided attitudes. Yeah, imagine that.  The people who are supposed to protect the children are the ones that end up breaking their hearts. Children hear these adults making rude comments about kids that may be smaller than someone else, and then they REPEAT it!  It hurts me so much that my children have to deal with the unkind words, veiled insults(which are supposedly disguised as “kidding around”), and degrading comments made to them and to other people about their size, all because of me.  After all, if I wasn’t the short one, maybe they would have had a decent shot at being a normal height.  My oldest, however, makes up in personality what he may lack in physical size.  So far this school year he has been elected to student council, is trying out for Science Olympiad, and is maintaining an extremely high grade point average.  Unlike me, he didn’t let his height keep him down.  I am so proud of him for being the kind of person I never was. And while my youngest may be tiny, he runs rings around kids twice his size and has the grades to go with it.  So in my book, height doesn’t mean anything, and people need to stop thinking that bigger means you are better.  Because guess what, it doesn’t!!

So if you take anything away from reading this post, please let it be this.  Physical size doesn’t make someone a better person.  Having a big heart, a kind personality, and a using your head makes you huge in my book.  Because my sons may be short, but they have more heart, courage, love, and commitment than most 6 foot adults!  Stop and think about what you are saying, and who might be hearing it. Wow, this post turned out to be more than I had ever planned it to be.  Thank you, SITS Girls, for the writing prompt.  I am hoping that my experiences will help someone in the future.  I look forward to the rest of the week!

For more fall blogging entries, please check out the SITS Girls!

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  1. says

    That is so awful you were teased like that. I have a couple different friends that are very small as well and I never heard them complain about it in school. Yet, they were always the brunt of thoughtless jokes and comments.

    My older brother didn’t really get his height until senior year of high school. I remember one night hearing him cry about it to my mom. And he wasn’t the kind of guy that would just cry. It broke my heart and made me so angry. I think I might have the opposite problem with my daughter–people are always commenting on how huge she is. She’s always been in the 95% and I worry that people will harass her for being tall.

    There’s always room for worry and for unkindness. Your post gave me some food for thought. Look forward to seeing more of you this week on SITS!
    hilljean recently posted..The Guy You Should Always Sit Next To. Unless You’re At A FuneralMy Profile

  2. says

    Honestly, I was never really one to care about what people thought of me in school-Maybe a little early on in my schooling, but once I hit middle and high school, if you didn’t like me, tough.

    I seemed to be the person that everyone gravitated towards though, regardless of what ‘click’ they were in. I guess that happens when you have a who-cares attitude. LOL

    But I understand how tough it can be for kids who are being bullied for one thing or another. I wish more than anything I could teach them or GIVE them my attitude and self confidence so they realize, as Dr. Seuss would say, “People who mind don’t matter and people who matter don’t mind!”

    Everything happens for a reason though and I’m a firm believer in that! It’s something I live by each and every day :)

  3. says

    Wandered by from BlogFrog …

    I am so proud of him for being the kind of person I never was.

    Mom? Where do you think he gets it?

    He’s inherited more from you than height. You’ve given him self-confidence, self-respect, a kind and gentle heart, and so much love that he can’t help but “welcome new kids to the class or neighborhood, play with any and all kids despite their backgrounds or age or who their parents are, look out for younger kids like their own siblings, and respect other people’s values and ideas.”

    You may not be physically tall, Jen. But you are a giant where it truly matters.
    Jules recently posted..Ultimate Dude Frosting GiveawayMy Profile

  4. says

    I was always one of the tallest girls throughout school at 5′ 11″, which to some girls can feel just as awkward. It didn’t really bother me, but yes I did get some comments about my height growing up.

    My girls both have boy friends (not boyfriend, boys that are friends as they are both too young to be worrying about dating) that are shorter then they are. These kids are awesome too and seem to be a real friend to the girls. My girls are being raised to accept people for who they are as a person, not what they are on the outside. And they too make friends with anybody that isn’t mean to them.

    Great post, unfortunately I have heard comments towards and about kids before and it is sad to hear. My girls are both tall and people always ask me “are you sure they are not older?” This kills me, like I don’t know how old my kids are!!
    Dawn recently posted..Encouraging Our KidsMy Profile

  5. says

    I was one of the shortest in my grade. I think the teasing for that was worse in elementary school, by junior high they were picking on other things… You are right, though, I always hate it when I hear a parent say something about someone they see and their kids are right there, listening and believing it is okay to say things like that.
    OneMommy recently posted..Fall Sun CatcherMy Profile

  6. says

    I used to try so hard to watch my mouth around my kids (not just language, but unkind comments about other people) that it slowly just became second nature to NOT say those kinds of things! I love that part of parenting: trying to be a better person for your kids and actually succeeding!
    Rabia recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Fall Love editionMy Profile

  7. says

    It always did amaze me how rude people could be regarding size. Like, gee, I had NO IDEA I was so short, thanks for letting me know.

    My 8-year old has the right attitude, though. She LOVES the fact that she’s one of the smallest. She likes to be tiny. She also doesn’t care too much what people think right now, and I really hope that doesn’t change! Of course, she’s not shy either, and she doesn’t let anyone push her around, so maybe that’s why she hasn’t been teased about being small. Yet.

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