My Real Life

August 22, 2013

The Summer My Heart Broke

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:00 am

This was it.

This was the summer my beautiful, strong, amazing daughter decided she wasn’t good enough.

My girl who used to not be able to get her bathing suit on fast enough and get to the beach suddenly dressed slower, on vacation, because she was worried about how she looked in that suit and found herself lacking.

And it broke my heart.

My daughter is tall.  She’s solid.  She’s strong.  She is beautiful.

Her friends are all smaller and slighter and willowy and, as I watch her with them, I’m starting to see her slouch and hunch and hide.

“Stand up!” I want to yell.  She has nothing to hide.

I want to shake her and tell her that I always wanted to be tall, like her.  I want her to know that when she grows up, women will be dying to have her height.

My girl is smart.  So freaking smart.

She is funny and kind.  So kind.

She is the best person I know and when I grow up, I want to be her.

This is the summer that broke my heart because I remember her standing proudly in that bathing suit, racing down the beach, not giving any thought at all to how she, or anyone else, looked.

And I know that, like the Emperor who saw that he was naked, once you cross that line, you can never go back.


  1. Sorry to hear this. Don’t yell it, busting it! Stand up tall! Love your height! And remind her that the world is made up of a hodge podge of shapes and sizes. Tall, short, thin, fat, pear shapes, tree shapes, apple shapes, hunch backs and straight backs. Athletes, musicians, artists, and bookworms. Beauty is on the eye of the beholder, yet, strangers showing confidence in themselves has instant appeal. Stand tall and be proud!

    Comment by Carla email without 2 in address — August 22, 2013 @ 6:47 am | Reply

  2. I remember slouching around friends too because I was always so tall. It’s really hard to stick up above the crowd when you are that age. I grew to love my height, hopefully she will too. She will pick up her confidence from you.

    Comment by Amy — August 22, 2013 @ 7:16 am | Reply

  3. You are a good mama and will help her through this. I can relate. 5’9″ in the 8th grade was hard. I think it was 10th grade before the boys were finally taller than I was! Now I love my height. Be kind, be gentle, love her and she will excel and will become the beautiful confident young woman that you already know she is.

    Comment by Marge — August 22, 2013 @ 7:55 am | Reply

  4. Alas, excruciating self-consciouness marks the end of carefree childhood and the beginning of the teenage years. Lily used to worry that she was “freakishly tall.” She topped out at 5’7″, which was awful for 8th grade, but great for college. Our church is full of lovely, tall young women–point a few out to Julia (casually, of course). I can remember when Sarah Green was gawky and Ann Murphy used to hunch almost double, and look at them now!

    Comment by S.W. Hubbard — August 22, 2013 @ 12:10 pm | Reply

  5. Oh mercy but how I can relate! Hit 5’7″ in 5 th grade!!!! It gave me only one advantage–I could see over everyone’s heads–or so I thought. I had gotten to my goal first but of course at that age I couldn’t appreciate it for the achievement it was. Never grew taller and of course others passed me by. This is only the first of personal awareness pieces we all discover along the way. Oh and as for the “baby face” well NOW approaching a magical age, I am so loving it–who knew I would finally be content:0)

    Comment by Carla — August 22, 2013 @ 9:07 pm | Reply

  6. I am trying to think of something that might give her more self confidence at this difficult age….would she like to take a dance class or gymnastics? I am sure, with your help, things will get better.

    Comment by Sheryl — August 23, 2013 @ 7:42 am | Reply

  7. Continue to support her and let her know she is perfect! I am just watching my 17 year old daughter emerge from the other side of “that summer”. She is tall, athletic, much bigger than her peers and she in comfortable in her own skin and proud of who she is and her accomplishments. Girls can get to the good place with a support system ….. and time. Good Luck!

    Comment by Patti — August 29, 2013 @ 7:50 am | Reply

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