A question has been floating around in my gray haired little brain lately. A recent incident has peaked my curiosity; however, this is a little embarrassing to bring up. I am almost reluctant to allow the matter to surface. But as a parent, I just need – to – know! So, let’s just keep this between us, okay? I’ll be totally mortified if this has never happened to more moms and dads out there. Perhaps the fact that I have always been “vertically challenged” has made me oblivious to the rate of growth among other individuals, especially kids. If it is alright with you, we’ll make this our “little” secret! Okay?….
First, please allow me to explain the circumstances behind my question for you today. Recently, we accompanied Dan to his neurologist appointment in Baltimore. Since school is out for summer, we planned a “mini” vacation with the wee Hotts; Violet, Isaac, and Levi (Caity was off celebrating her cousin’s 21st birthday). While in Baltimore, we spent some awesome time at the Maryland Science Center.
I know! I know!… You’re probably thinking a what family of nerds would go to a science center on a vacation! I guess when one’s parents are a combination of engineer/dad and teacher/blogger/mom, well… what can I say!? We also went to the Baltimore Aquarium and took a water taxi to Ft. McHenry to see the historical replication of “The Star Spangled Banner”! The Hott kids loved the Science Center so much, we went back a second time!
Talk about the coolest place EV-er!!! There were so many exhibits geared for kids and here’s the best part: each was “hands on”! The entire visit, you never have to say; “Don’t touch that!” For a total of five inquiring minds and ten inquisitive hands, that’s a FUN day!
As we were strolling around, the “human body” caught the attention of ALL of us! Mostly due to the fact that, as you enter, a computer mysteriously calls out to you and says, “Hey… come over here and let’s see how tall you are!”
The display has you stand on a circle, wait for just a moment, then the same voice announces (to the entire Science Center audience), your height! Now, “vertically challenged” as I am, the topic of height is common for me. Especially as the “short substitute teacher”, kids and family always, I mean ALWAYS want to know how tall I am. Cousins, now 10 and 12, from the west return to visit Aunt Angie and gauge their growth to see if they are taller than me yet. Seven year olds give me their hand-me-down shoes. Relatives, now towering at 6’4” never cease to pick me up when they visit. In college, I was the tiny one to be thrown into the bushes. Get the picture?
So, when the voice bellowed out “5 feet ½ inch”…. I was neither surprised nor embarrassed. Naturally, the rest of the family boarded the machine and proceeded to be measured.
Here’s my surprise: when our 11 year old, Violet, stepped on to the exhibit, it announced (yes, to the entire Science Center again); “Congratulations, you are 4 feet, 11 and ½ inches tall!”
What? How did that happen? Exactly when did my baby girl grow to be just an inch shorter than her mommy?????
At the ripe old age of 11, Violet has recently taken quite a liking to fashion too! Every opportunity she gets, Violet is eager to acquire the latest in clothing, mostly from her favorite store in the universe: JUSTICE! The typical 11teen year old, her interest in camis and fragrant tee shirts that smell like root beer floats never cease to amaze me. So, while visiting the Inner Harbor, Baltimre, it was also her constant interest to visit the shops at the five story mall attached to the hotel where we were staying. Needless to say, there was definitely a large degree of whining involved. “Mooooooommieeee! Please can we look at clothes!” “Oooooh!… Let’s go to Claires!” Or, “LOOK! I really need a new swim suit… pleeeeease!” (Can you hear it?)
Oh! It was endless during our visit to Baltimore! When Violet began to whine about needing shoes, I thought my head was going to explode! Have you ever been there? Out and about with your kids and they want to buy, buy, buy more than Donald Trump himself can afford. Shoes? Ok… so, you want shoes, too! Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Finally, on the third day as we passed the 5, did I say 5 story mall while Violet was presenting her argument better than any prosecuting attorney on why shoes would be a good purchase, I caved. After reasoning that her sneakers needed to last the summer… Or, I just bought those sneakers two months ago; yes, mom finally caved in to her requests! Let’s go look at sneakers.
So, we headed to Payless to see what we could find on sale between taking in the sights of big city Baltimore! After searching endlessly through the store, we finally found one of those foot measuring thingies! Violet sits down and removes her “not so old” sneaker. I guess it would also be fair for me to mention, on Violet’s behalf, that she had been complaining endlessly all day that her feet hurt. Well, we had only walked about 100 miles in the 95 degree summer heat! She was beginning to walk with a bit of a limp, so much that I thought I would have to call 911 to carry her off on a stretcher! By now, Violet resembles one of those wounded soldiers over at Ft. McHenry from the War of 1812, limping with a cane across the battlefield with bandaged leg and wrapped brow. Well, she brought to my attention no less than 847 times that the end of her shoes were falling apart. Drama, drama, drama… So, imagine my surprise when I looked at these shoes (for the first time in three days of discussion on new shoes, of course) that I noticed toes erupting out the end of her sneakers like a snake peaking out of a hole in the ground!
Oh,… well look at that. Hummmm… maybe we do need new shoes Violet. So, finally getting her foot on the measuring thingy, imagine my surprise when I looked at the size!
FIVE! A 5! SIZE FIVE!!???
Really? Guess what her old shoe size was only two months ago… a three! Yes, a size three shoe! Violet had grown TWO sizes in just two months! Those sneakers were “bran new” too!
Guess I wasn’t listening after all.
Which brings me to my most embarrassing question for you: Have you ever taken your children shopping to discover they have grown several sizes unbeknownst to you? I mean, how could I not have seen her feet grow TWO sizes? One would think with four Hott kids, I would notice, right? Boy, was I ever wrong! It makes me wonder what else am I missing? Have any of you ever missed something major your child was trying to tell you? Am I listening closely enough to their needs, their wants, and their desires? Or, maybe it is just that our kids are little for such a short time. I guess maybe I just missed Violet wearing a size four shoe. Is that strange?
Here’s what comforts me, and hopefully, you as well: God listens. He knows our every need. He sees all; even when we grow two shoe sizes! Like a parent, he is always there for us to hear our prayers, our concerns, and our praise! All we need to do is ask.
Jesus promised, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you….If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” – Luke 11:9-13
Copyright © Angie Hott, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved