It happened. It’s official. I am now the shortest person in my family. The youngest-Born has passed me up.
Eight years ago, the oldest-Born surpassed me in height. Standing back to back with my daughter, we balanced a cookie sheet on our heads. Then while the whole family watched, my husband dropped the small bouncy-ball in the middle of the cookie sheet. We all held our breath as the ball slowly started to move. Gaining momentum, it rolled my direction, jumped over the lip and bounced to the floor. The final verdict was substantiated with indisputable empirical evidence… I was shorter. With hugs and squeals of delight we celebrated the moment.
With each child we did the same ritual. Back to back, a cookie sheet and a ball. Sometime we’ve used a golf ball, a tennis ball or even a foosball. I didn’t always loose, you know. There were many practice attempts as it became each child’s goal to take me down. But sometimes they didn’t have the height to back up the enthusiasm and I’d heave a sigh of relief as the ball dipped off their end.
But as of last week… the “Cookie Sheet Ritual” is over… at least with my own children.
“You know, Doris” my husband said with a twinkle in his eye after one triumphal cookie sheet celebration. “Being taller than you isn’t really that big a deal”. I punched him in the gut.
For the record, I am ¾ of an inch taller than the average height of North American women. But, it seems like all the people in my family aren’t average! I was the shortest in my family and I never did pass up my mom. It is true that I am now taller than her, but that was because she shrunk (sorry mom, but it’s true). I have always been the shortest in my family, and not necessarily the lightest either (which another whole topic that I don’t want to get into at this moment).
My husband is right. Being taller than me is not that big a deal. I know that I should also be apologizing for the gut-punch, but he’s tough (he’s from a family of all boys and he’s not the shortest). But, I take his point. Perhaps the accomplishment isn’t that big… but CELEBRATING it is!!
I try to take every occasion for celebrations. Life is short. So celebrate often. Celebrate everything and even anything. Give a hug, do a dance, send a card or bake a cake (or buy one and say you baked it). And if you can, make a tradition. Something as crazy as the “cookie sheet ritual” became our family tradition.
This is the season for family traditions. Christmas is a time for celebration. Take a moment to remember some past family traditions and take the time to re-create them. Don’t miss this moment.