Let's Talk About Boys

No, not this boy.Or, this one.

And not this fine lad.

I want to talk about this boy. And maybe your boy, too.

I am in the midst of finding a new doctor for Bear. I will never again take him to the one he's had since we've moved here. We all talk about girls' self esteem. But, I think, at times, we forget that boys are just as prone to self doubt as girls.

I am going through that right now. Back to the pediatrician. She messed with my mind. When Bear was a baby, we moved here. We had to leave our beloved pediatrician behind. Try as I might, he just wouldn't move with us. Not knowing anyone, it was luck of the draw.

On our first visit, she mentioned that Bear did not get his height gene from his dad. And she would mention that several times throughout the years. I come from brothers who are well over 6 feet tall. Big D is 6'1". I just assumed Bear would be over six feet. As soon as those words came out of her mouth, I started obsessing. I would compare Bear to other children. I would constantly check his height against that archaic curve chart.

I lost sight of the fact that he was healthy. That he was growing. That he was happy. As soon as I got over myself, I realized that no matter his size, he has a lot going for him. I started noticing that while he's certainly not taller than anyone, he is not, by any means, abnormally short either.

All was right in my world. Then, it happened. We took Bear to the doctor to have his spine checked out for scoliosis. And I'll be danged if the doctor didn't make a comment about his size IN FRONT OF BEAR.

Bear is smart, clever, handsome, charismatic, charming, and everything good. But, sadly, he's also like me. He's a worrier. He takes things to heart. He obsesses. And this doctor sparked something in him that he really hadn't paid attention to before then.

What I used to do, he started doing. The first week of intermediate was rough because he felt so small. He was unable to see that he is right there in the pack. He focused on praying that he'll at least be 5'10". Silly things. Because, again, size does not matter. But, in our society, a tall man gets noticed. Girls, generally speaking, want a man taller than they are.

Then a God thing happened. And I will forever love God for many reasons, but this is right up there. Bear was measured at school. Right now, at age 12, he's three inches shorter at 4'9" than I am. His growth has yet to even begin. And, the kicker. Big D was looking at his passport he had when he was five. It listed his height as 3'8". A couple of days later, Bear found the baseball card of his first year, age 5, in little league. It also listed his height. 3'7". Oh, the joy on his face when he saw that he was only an inch shorter than his daddy at the same age.

I'm not sure how accurate either height was at the time. But, my lips are firmly sealed. And I keep reiterating all Bear's positive attributes. And, how, even if he's only a little bit taller than me, he'll be perfect in God's eyes and some sweet thang's eyes. He'll grow up to be amazing. And I'm going to make sure he believes it in himself.

Who said it's harder to raise girls???


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Quilt Works said...

You are absolutely right, the doctor should have said nothing like that in front of your son.

I think you should find another doctor, but please let this one know the reason. She/he should not do this to another child. It sounds like they just insensetive to the issue. Perhaps he/she can be educated.

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Patois said...

OMG. Did you read those two Anonymous comments? I mean, I never!

That's God talking, in a good way. Can I tell you that my 13-in-two-weeks boy just passed my height of 5'2" in the past month? The heavens opened up. Yes, I am short. Yes. But he has hopes.

Jenny86753oh9 said...

Oh good grief. Doesn't that just make you want to strangle her?? Oldman is just like Bear (I know, I know...we say that all the time.). He hasn't dealt with the height thing yet since he's 9, but other LITTLE things worry him til he's a basket case. I pray his height doesn't end up being on the worry list too. His dad is 5'9" and I'm 5'6" so it's not like he should expect much. (HA!)

LOVE LOVE LOVE that pic of Bear's eye!!!

Anonymous said...

I know I've said this before, but I just have two words for you...BEN AFFLECK. Remember that story? Hee! He was always the shortest boy in his class until the summer between his junior and senior year in high school, and then he shot up six inches in one summer! Boys tend to grow slower than girls, in fact some continue growing well into their 20's. Try not to worry and yep, I'd get a new pediatrician too.


Forgetfulone said...

I have to know what doctor did this! I hope it wasn't one at Bay Area Peds. I used to love my pediatrician, too! I agree with Quilt that you should let this doctor know why you won't be back, not the office staff, but the doctor personally. Don't know how you accomplish this.

I LOVE what you did with Bear's photo! How did you do that? He is such a handsome boy. And my "D" is not all that tall, either. He's 13, 8th grade, and probably just now reading the 5 foot mark. Ang is even shorter. But, I know, she's a girl!

Now, can't we go back and talk about those other boys?

Laura B. said...

My husband is 5'5" and I couldn't love him any more. Granted, most girls expect taller guys, but my husband said that helped him weed out the superficial ones right away.

No matter what happens, don't let Bear beat himself up about it. Height is one of the few things in life you have no control over, so worry about the things you can, not the ones you can't.

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rachelizabeth said...

People forget that boys have self-image issues, too. They just assume that boys are non-emotional hunks of testosterone. It is so wrong!

Debbie said...

You go girl! And I would take this opportunity to put a plug in for skipping the pediatrician altogether at this age and getting him a caring family physician that understands the whole person. I'm proud of you for being his advocate. (As you can tell, I feel strongly about this issue!)