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Laura Kessel is managing editor of The News-Herald in Willoughby. She writes a weekly column and shares her thoughts here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Heights changing with the times

I’d better start growing.

Normally, I don’t really feel all that short. Until other people come around.

Then they remind me.

I’m a shrimp.

It wasn’t always this way. Back in elementary school, I was in the back row of pictures. I stood on the top step of the risers during choir concerts.
Then the strangest thing happened.

The rest of the kids kept growing, and I started looking up.

Sadly, it’s about to start happening again.

When I became an adult, I got used to being the short one. I just started wearing high heels a lot.

When the younger generation started coming along — like my nieces and nephews — I got the altitude bug again.

It’s a heady feeling. You walk tall, because you’re about 4 feet taller than the little kid who’s toddling along.

Then, suddenly, you look up, and there they are!

Or maybe that’s just me?

About a month ago, my 13-year-old nephew Nikolas greeted me at a family party with a deep voice and about 4 inches of new height since the last time I saw him — early January.

He’s even taller now, according to my sister-in-law, who said he’s reached 6 feet tall. It doesn’t seem like he’ll be stopping anytime soon.

Then, last weekend, my sister-in-law Eileen warned me before my niece Sarah came downstairs when I arrived at their house in Connecticut that she’s now taller than the older niece, Erin.

The 9-year-old came downstairs, took off her shoes, and proceeded to touch my chin with her forehead.

I’m in big trouble! Cuz I’m so little!

The girls obviously take after my brother, who is 6-foot-4. But Eileen is 5-foot-7, so she’s throwing some height into the mix.

I’m 5-foot-4.

The only solace I can take is that as the younger generation gets bigger, the older one is getting smaller.

I’ve seen my mother lose a few inches over the years, and a few other senior citizens suddenly are at eye-level when they used to require a peek skyward.

All those years of milk drinking obviously didn’t prevent the bone loss that’s brought them into my view.

But, it’s refreshing that as one set goes up, another comes down.

Too bad, though, because it would be so much easier if I could do the moving. But, I guess it’s not so bad that as one group moves out of my view, I get to focus on those who are moving into it.

Looks like I should make some new friends, huh?


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