thejuliemeister

Musings from an unsuspecting navy wife

To My Dear Niece Piper,

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Piper and her Gramps taking a nap

Piper and her Gramps taking a nap

You cannot know this yet, but you are massive. At 4 months and 18+ pounds, you outweigh many healthy babies twice your age. You are over 26 inches long, which is literally off the growth chart. You, little-big-miss, are destined to be tall.

At my measly five-foot-nine-and-three-quarters inches tall, you will likely surpass me before reaching high school. I anticipate you will be well over 6 feet, just like my great aunt (your great-great-aunt) Rita. Above averageness tends to run in the family.

Usually, being tall will seem like the coolest blessing ever. You’ll stand out amongst, or above, your peers. But there is a responsibility that comes with being tall that is never fair.

Grown-ups will always assume you’re older than you are. Unfortunately, grown-ups generally judge age by measuring a kid against themselves. You won’t fit those guidelines. At 5 they’ll think you’re 7, and by 12 you’ll practically be an adult. You will always be held to a standard higher than your age requires.

There are also assumptions people make about tall folk. Get used to hearing the following four words: “do you play basketball?” Maybe you will. Unfortunately, if you’re anything like your mom and me, coordination and organized sports won’t really be your forte. Your mom once broke her foot trying to run backwards. That was the end of her volleyball career.

Good luck finding clothing that fits. I was wearing adult-sizes before the end of elementary school because I needed longer pants. You will almost never be able to find clothing in a regular department store, and will instead be a connoisseur of Internet retail.

Sometimes you’ll find height can be awkward. You will always be designated to put up posters and grab things from high shelves. You’ll need to stoop through some doorframes, and you’ll frequently be able to see over the top of bathroom stalls (try not to make eye contact). But you’ll learn to take it in your ultra long stride.

If there’s one thing I want you to know, it’s to never let anyone make you feel like you’re un-feminine. Some boys will feel threatened by you, or think that you’re an Amazon warrior who cannot be tamed. But that’s their problem. You can be the girliest girl who wears platform pumps every day if you want. Or you can wear chucks and jeans if that’s what suits you. Always remember that it’s your choice to decide who you want to be.

So Piper Jane, that’s what I’ve got for you. You’ll be the envy of many, and you’ll probably never need a stepping stool. With giant parents to guide you, I’m sure you’ll be just fine.

Love,

Auntie J

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