The Smallest Package

From what I’ve observed as a parent, and recall from my own childhood: children yearn to be bigger.  From birth, our children are praised for growth and weight gain.  As they grow older, they seek acknowledgement from “big kids” and find pride in growing out of a favorite pair of sneakers.  Most little ones (including  my own) are swift to correct if the half is left out of their numerical age.

I was usually the smallest in the class, I think I stopped getting taller somewhere around 7th grade.  At just over five feet tall, I actually enjoy many aspects of being small.  I can comfortably curl up on an airplane seat, while my husband (at six feet tall) is cramped with no leg room.  I’ve also learned that I can easily hold little hands while walking down the street, while my taller counterpart has to lean substantially to achieve this feat.  I’m OK with my packaging, but I find myself wondering and hoping that my own children will embrace their own genetic destiny- whatever that may be.

My son was suspected to be growth restricted in utero, resulting in weekly growth scans and all sorts of hoopla.  I remember pleading with my medical team to let me be, because I innately knew that I would be blessed with a child that my body could birth.  At ten days late, my Adrian was 6 lb 14 oz and hovered around the 5% percentile for his first year and half of life.  At Adrian’s two year checkup his pediatrician measured him three times, because he could not believe that his height was closer to the 50% percentile.  I found myself beaming, although cautiously concealing my thoughts around my impressionable children.  As  a child, I witnessed my own brother being bullied for his small size (he was a super preemie), and as a parent I have an instinctual drive to want to protect my children from such ridicule.

Today after school, I watched Lucia’s new Kindergarten girlfriends call her “Little Lucia” and take turns picking her up in the playground.  In that moment, I again questioned our decision of not holding her back (she made the age cutoff by five days).  I had to take serious steps to redirect my fueling mama-copter.  I inwardly screamed “NO LABELING!!” and hoped to hear Lucia speak up for herself.  Instead, I found my daughter belly laughing with delight and then yelling “Hey guys follow me!!!.  As I watched the gaggle of little girls excitedly follow Lucia’s (very directed) play, I cheered for the visible mightiness inside that small packaging.

I think my girl is going to be alright.

And I think that her mightiness is absolutely larger than life.   



  1. She does look mighty and beautiful. You can see the spirit in her eyes. My sister has always been small she never grew past 4'11″ but she is mighty as well. She is very driven and very successful. Not only that she has the biggest heart of anyone I know. Small is in charge. I really like your blog. I am glad I stopped over from the Monday Mingle at Naptime Review.
    Patricia @

  2. It's hard to stand back as a mother! I think that you are doing a superb job and have a beautiful mighty daughter as a result.

  3. Thanks so much for your comment on my latest post! It's so nice to “meet” you — I just checked out your blog and, oh my, I absolutely love it. What a sweet family you have!

    This post resonated with me so much. I'm five feet tall on the dot. I've always dealt with the “little” comments, often being called “Little Lindsay” which is why I TOTALLY felt for you in the “Little Lucia” moment. I learned to deal with it for many of the reasons you listed. My husband is 6'4″ and watching him try to squeeze his way into the train at the mall with our son or even into my car (a small SUV!) makes me thankful for my “little status.” I knew there was a chance my son would be small, seeing as how my mother is five feet tall as is my sister but he surprised me by constantly making the 90th percentiles for height and weight. I recently had to step back and realize that he is who he is, big or small, and it's the personality that counts — not the outside packaging. This post was just beautiful and so true.

    And she is totally mighty and gorgeous!

  4. What a beautiful post. 🙂 I am the shortest in my family, just over 5ft and I have absolutely no issue with my height. I actually like it. 🙂 You sound like an amazing mom. Your daughter will surely be mighty with a mom like you. 🙂

  5. So sweet. Sounds like Lucia is a tough one. Small but mighty. I'm 5″2, so I firmly believe that good things come in small packages. 🙂

  6. Thank you ladies. It seems like she is doing OK so far. It's hard to not helicopter, but more important to give her the chance to work things out herself. xxoo – Monica

  7. Monica- love your blog! I too bristle at first when I hear similar names being used for Katie- but when I see her smiling face in those moments, I breathe a little easier. At least for now! So glad I revisited your blog- what a wonderful way of documenting your beautiful family.

    • Hi Marybeth, Thanks for reminding me that I'm not the only one! Our little ones often surprise us with their strength and resiliency. Thanks so much for your sweet comment. xx – M

  8. Oh, she's so cute!! She's a toughie and will definitely take care of herself!!

  9. That is the Truth with a capitol T, babies always want to be toddlers, toddlers want to be preschoolers, and on and on. Love that your baby girl is thriving in kindergarten! XOXO

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