Height Requirement

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My oldest son is now taller than me. I don’t know when exactly it happened, but sometime in the last few months he has gone from being my little boy to “that kid who is two inches taller than me”. And who knows if he has stopped growing? If he’s like a puppy, it could be a while before he grows into his feet.

My second son will probably catch him soon. And, truthfully*, we’ve always thought the second son was going to be bigger. He was bigger at birth, he’s been bigger at every other marker along the road, and his feet are already as big. On the other hand, of the five kids I grew up with, my sister was the largest infant and grew up to be the smallest adult of us all.

I’ll address the * now, before I can forget: why do we say, “And, truthfully”? Isn’t that like saying, “I’ve just been blowing smoke up your skirt until now, but disregard that as I now delve—however briefly—into reality. And, like parenthesis, shouldn’t the phrase, “And, truthfully” come with a companion phrase somewhere later on in the conversation like, “Now, back to bull”?

It doesn’t bother me that my sons either are taller than me or soon will be. It bugs my oldest sister that she had four girls and all of them are shorter than she is. But seeing my sons get so big tends to bring out thoughts of when they were so much smaller. Those moments when I held them in the hospital, or taught them how to ride a bike, or sat on the floor playing with fire engines and Star Wars characters.

Yes, I mean fire engines AND Star Wars. Those were not always separate games. I remember when my boys were 4 and 6 years old and had recently watched the classic movie “The Great Escape” with me. I came home from work to find them playing in the yard and one of them told me, “I’m Danny the Tunnel King and he’s Luke Skywalker and we’re going to rescue Indiana Jones!”

As someone with a pretty fair imagination, I was constantly fascinated by the imagination of children. I’m not alone in this, as can be witnessed by the popularity of the “Toy Story” movies. As children, it would have surprised none of us to find out that our toys secretly came alive while we were out of the room. They were certainly alive when we were in there with them. Now an adult—as far as you know—I was a little melancholy to realize that, as much as I liked playing on the floor with my boys, that part of my imagination didn’t work as well anymore. My adult brain made having “conversations” for plastic people seem to silly. I couldn’t do it.

So, while I am happy to see my boys grow up (and up and up!), I am a little melancholy to see them lose that imagination, too. As 16- and 14-year-olds, they are into camping gear and learning to drive and “grown-up stuff” like that. On the other hand, I’d be a little worried if they were still playing on the floor of their rooms with GI Joes and Hot Wheels.

Oh, by the way, if you come by my office, pay no attention to the display of Indiana Jones figures on the window sill.