Maria's Story :
Each person wears many hats in life – at home, at work, in the community. My favourite ones? Wife, mother, friend. They’re the roles that give me greatest joy … and the rewards are always priceless. Here’s why …
When I asked each of my family members for three words to describe me, as per this project’s requirement, I was hoping to cull the three common denominators from their submissions. Imagine my surprise when none of them used the same words, which of course, made my homework a little harder, but filled my heart with love. My hubby said “lovely, sweet, smart” … my eldest son came up with “courageous, generous, conscientious” … my older daughter-in-law texted “baller, slammin’, warm” (I honestly didn’t know the meaning of baller and slammin’, thank goodness for Google) … my younger daughter-in-law gave me “thoughtful, humble, beautiful” … and my youngest son wrote “keystone, beacon, home”. Nope, I didn’t bribe any of them, although I teased my younger daughter-in-law (she was a daughter-in-law-to-be at that time, with their wedding two months away) that she just scored serious mother-in-law points.
If we were to meet for the first time, the word that would probably come to your mind is … short. Yes, I am short, that’s for sure. As in physically short. As in less than 5 feet short. At one time in my life, I thought I was a 5-footer … or at least 4’11, as per the nurse at my doctor’s clinic. Imagine my surprise when I was re-measured a few years ago at my doctor’s and I was told I was 4 feet 10 ½ inches tall (or short)! I tried to negotiate with my doctor for that extra half inch, and she laughingly countered that the last time my height was measured, I was newly permed.
So how short is 4’10.5? Too short to reach the top shelf of our cupboards … or even the middle shelf, that’s why I’m thankful to the inventor of the kitchen step stool. It’s the same situation at the
supermarkets, and when I’m by myself, it always turns out that a handful of the items on my shopping list would always be on the top shelf. This is when I get up the nerve to approach a taller person … it’s never hard for me to find one … and ask for help. My standard line? “Can I please borrow your height?” I’ve met a lot of really nice taller people at groceries.
Here’s another ‘short’ story. I was designated as the first aid person at the radio stations where I work, when we first moved to our previous downtown Peterborough location. Guess where the first aid kit was – the too high for me cupboard! Reason for this? Kids often visited our stations for tours, so it had to be out of reach for them … and consequently, for me, the first aid person. Turns out being the short first aid person was an easy job – when co-workers needed the first aid kit, all I had to do was point.
Another ‘short’ anecdote. When my eldest son was in Grade 5, he asked me to deliver a school project to his classroom because it was too big for him to carry on the school bus. After I dropped it off, I was walking down the hallway, toward the exit, when I heard this big voice yelling behind me. “Young lady, get back to your classroom!” My first thought was, “Whoa! Someone’s in trouble!” I turned around to find out who this truant was, then the principal gasped and embarrassingly apologized, “I’m very sorry Maria, I thought you were a student.” It’s still one of the best days of my life … as awesome as being asked for ID at the LCBO and at hotel bars when I’m with my sons … and even more thrilling when, at thesame time, neither of them are NOT asked for ID!
Short I may be, but sweet is my life! Sweeter now that I have a little granddaughter because not only do I have someone to spoil again, but for a few years, at least, there’s a family member shorter than me! For those vertically challenged like me, just think big, stand straight and smile. Remember, the word “tall” wouldn’t have been created if petite people like us weren’t around. And keep the Shakespeare quote in mind – “And though she be but little, she is fierce.”