I have always been tall. My mum loves to tell the story about how, when I was born, the obstetrician held me up by my heels and said, "My goodness, what a long baby!"
And I am long. I am nearly six feet tall. My back is so long that it's difficult for me to find shirts that hit at the hip, and don't leave my midriff bare.
I am far taller than both my (Mexican, French and Dutch) parents, and apparently inherited my height from my maternal (Dutch) great grandmother who approached six feet in an era when that sort of height was virtually unheard-of.
In grade school, I was always the tallest child, male or female, in the school system. By 5th grade, I could win the high jump in gym class every time...not because I could vault (I couldn't) but because I could hurdle the high jump standing upright.
It was profoundly embarrassing.
In sixth grade, a boy named Peter finally overtook me at the high jump, and I was tremendously relieved.
As an adult, I have come to appreciate my reedy height. I can enjoy it now. It is no longer a cross to bear.
And then came Q.
When we met her in the adoption office in Nanjing, she was tiny. At 11 months of age, with an unrepaired cleft lip and palate (which make it difficult to eat), having had only the benefit of necessarily meager orphanage rations, atrophied from a life spent on her back in a crib, and with a rollicking case of intestinal parasites, she weighed only 14 pounds.
Since coming home, and being cured of her parasites, Q has been a champion eater. She eats voraciously and she has a sophisticated palate. We have never had to be concerned about her not eating enough fresh fruits or vegetables, or suffering from a lack of protein. She loves food.
What we did notice was that, on our little wall chart where we mark off the months in Sharpie pen, she has grown a full inch nearly every month since coming home. At first we thought it was amusing. Then we began to be amazed.
Recently, when Q stood up against the size chart in the children's department, I noticed that at just under two years of age, she was on the brink of the 3T size marker.
Then, not a week after her 2nd birthday, we took her to the pediatrician for her 2-year checkup. She was, they told us, in the 90th percentile for height. 90th!!!! It boggles the mind. And that's on the US chart, not on the Asian charts which tend to run somewhat smaller.
The kid, I'm afraid, is going to tower over both of her (tall) adoptive parents. I suppose it's a good thing, since basketball has been her favorite passtime since she received her first ball not long after coming home from China. It was her choice, not ours (neither of us is a fan of ball sports), but we have encouraged and fostered it the best we can.
One big point for nature over nurture. There is a good chance we'll never know where she got her height (or her penchant for ball sports), but I tip my hat to her birth parents and to her gene pool. She is one long, tall, gorgeous drink of water, and as an athlete she is already far beyond the pale.
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