While I am wrangling a newborn, posting from me will be a little sparse. Thankfully! I have some amazing stand-ins who are here to share some of their most vivid childhood memories. One time I fell while wearing my Moon Shoes when I wasn’t supposed to. Jennifer’s story goes a little something like that.
I am 5’2″.
Now, granted, I come from short stock. My grandmother is 5’4″ (or, at least, she was when she stood up straight; she doesn’t anymore). My grandfather was 5’6″. My mother is 5’3″. My father and his side of the family are a missing branch of my tree, but my mother never indicated he was exceptionally tall. (I’ve always pictured him as nondescript and average, not having much to go on.)
Anyway, so yes, at 5’2″ I am short, and my DNA backs this up. Still, I am pretty sure I was supposed to be taller. Not much taller, maybe 5’4″ or 5’5″, but taller than I am. Everyone thinks I am taller than I am, even when I am wearing flats. I appear taller.
You see, I think I stunted my growth. When I was 5, I broke my tailbone.
Now, according to my old chiropractor, any time you break a bone, it never *really* heals. At least, not back to 100 percent. And what happens to one bone affects all the other bones. Apparently, he said, even my broken right ring finger affects all the other bones.
(The irony here is that I broke my finger because I was trying to catch myself on the banister before I tumbled down the stairs. I nearly tumbled down the stairs, because I was sporting the late 90s 4 inch platform heel trend. Why was I wearing these ridiculous shoes you ask? Because I am SHORT!)
My current chiropractor isn’t so convinced of this theory. Even still, the stunted growth makes sense. This is clearly what happened.
So, how did I manage to stunt my growth?
As an 8os child, I was never into Cabbage Patch Kids, and while I liked Barbies, they were not my favorite. She-Ra was my favorite. OF COURSE she was. She-Ra is BAD ASS. She didn’t even need a prince to come rescue her; her brother helped her out every now and again, but they were equals, which is pretty rocking. So, of course my mother would take me to see She-Ra and He-Man at Radio City Music Hall. And there, she would buy me a plastic souvenir sword that GLOWED in the DARK. And, at the end of the show, She-Ra and He-Man promised that if we had that sword, we too would Have The Power.
Well now, isn’t this convenient. Because now I could tell my bratty older cousin, Kevin, where he could stick it. Kevin was a year and a half older than me, and just by nature of his age and his gender, a lot bigger and stronger than me. Well, won’t I show HIM. Because HIS MOM didn’t bring him to Radio City Music Hall to see He-Man and She-Ra, so HE didn’t have a glow-in-the-dark sword that would give HIM The Power.
I sashayed into my Aunt’s kitchen the next day, parading my sword around.
“I can beat you up,” I taunted.
Kevin snorted. “No you can’t.”
“Yes I CAN. Because I have THIS SWORD and you don’t! I Have The Power!”
“Yeah, all right,” he said. “PROVE IT.”
“I WILL!” I announced. I proceeded to strut into Kevin and his brother Brian’s bedroom and climbed up their bunk beds onto their tall dresser …
… I think you know where this is going.
I stood atop the dresser and raised the sword above my head. As I was chanting “I HAVE THE POWER!” I lost my footing.
THUMP. I fell five feet onto the linoleum floor. Square onto my tailbone.
I wailed. Sure, I was in pain, but my pride was wounded far worse.
Kevin and Brian (the latter, who was supposed to be “watching” us) ran into the bedroom ahead of my aunt. “I can’t believe she actually DID it!” Brian exclaimed. Kevin looked on in shock, knowing the wrath he was about to endure from my aunt once she calmed me down. I was inconsolable.
I am probably the reason for superfluous warnings. “WARNING: This sword won’t really give you the Power.” But you know what? Damaged tailbone, back problems, stunted growth aside, believing in magic didn’t permanently damage me. In fact, despite this, er, mishap, I continued to believe in magic. I was by far the last of my peers to give up on Santa Claus. I still duck and cover when the dinosaur on the Dinosaur ride in Disney World tries to chomp my head off.
Childhood without magic is like Batman without Robin, or Superman without Lois Lane, or He-Man without She-Ra …
… you see what I did there? 🙂