Today I visited one of our summer camps and tried not to laugh as one of the kids said, "I love you mini woman, I just love you mini woman," over and over again. If you don't know me, I'm very short, but I prefer to say, petite. I've always worked with kids and I always get the same reactions and questions. The kids get so excited and say, "I'm almost as big as you!" or "You are small," or "How old are you?"
Kids seem to struggle with the concept that you don't keep growing as you get older. They associate height with age and are always surprised when I tell them how old I am. Though this can get on my nerves at times because I'm constantly reminded of how freakishly small I am by both kids and adults and anytime I shop for clothes or shoes, I don't really mind it.
The best reaction I got was by a little boy at the Child Development Center on the University of Missouri's campus (where I also went to preschool). He asked the usual questions and was trying to figure it all out-"so you're not going to get any bigger?" "You like Peter Pan!" Meaning, "You ARE like Peter Pan." I responded with, "Yes, I'm like Peter Pan." I think about what that boy said all of the time-and not physically-but in spirit-I am a responsible adult, but I don't have to "grow up." I believe I'll live longer and happier just by having a youthful spirit. I'm always going to want to try new things-like the water slide on the camp field trip yesterday, I'm probably always going to have a secret love for Hello Kitty, I'm always going to love the feeling of riding down a hill and feeling the wind blow past me on my bike, and I'm always going to be silly. When I find myself getting a little too serious or stressed out by grown up things, I remember what the little boy told me-he had to be a baby genius.