SuperTween has always been petite. She wasn’t a preemie. She has no serious health issues. She simply never made it above the 10 percentile on height. Every year at her checkup, I asked if she needed to visit a specialist about her height. Every year, they pondered her chart for a millisecond before telling me that they wouldn’t give me a referral unless she dropped to zero on the average height chart.
Over the years, she met and exceeded her developmental milestones. After she began middle school, she developed curves and her maturity increased exponentially. At the same time, SuperTween’s brother who is three years younger than her, caught up to her on height.
At her checkup this summer, it finally happened. She dropped off the height chart. I asked about a specialist. They said that puberty is the cut-off point for most of the treatments used to help with growth problems. While in my heart I know that I would have been hard pressed to agree to the risks of growth hormones for a few inches of height, I am sad that SuperTween was never given that choice to make.
I worry that her height will interfere with her ability to drive a car and have romantic relationships. I worry about her being trampled in high school hallways. I worry about her being teased and bullied. I wore a full back brace in 7th and 8th grade. I know how adolescent ignorance can sting and scar.
At the same time, I know that SuperTween is stronger than I was at that age. She is stubborn and determined. She holds her own in a house full of loud and rowdy brothers. I can easily see her shouting commands as a coxswain. Is there a musical rowing league? SuperTween’s singing voice is as loud as it is lovely. She would be amazing.
She already is amazing.