There were four times in my life that I was aware of just how tall I am, or was. The first time was when I was a kid and I knew that I couldn't open the medicine cabinet without standing on the toilet. So every once in awhile I would stand on that toilet so I could reach into the cabinet, and get a handful of those tasty orange flavored pills my mom kept in there. It wasn't until later that I realized I was eating children's aspirin. My second awareness of how tall I was again involved the medicine cabinet, only this time it was the day I realized I didn't have to stand on the toilet anymore. I was now a big boy. Forward a few years to the age of sixteen, when I got my driver's license. One statistic on that new license was my height. I lied and put down six feet. I was very sure I would grow that last inch and make six feet. I never did. Finally, there was our trip to Germany. That was when I realized that I was short. Not by United States standards, but by German standards I was short. I remember walking down the street in Cologne and looking up at all the Germans, even the women. It felt very weird.
I recently came across a photo of me in eighth grade at the age of fourteen. It was a class photo with us all lined up in rows. I am surprised at how short we all were. In my mind we were of normal height, nearly as tall as our teachers, but no. We were still little guys with geeky bodies. Even more surprising is what we all looked like. In the photo we looked nothing like I remembered. For instance one kid, who I thought might actually be an adult, didn't look much taller than the rest of us. And the fat kid wasn't really fat, not when compared to today's kids. In fact, if the photo didn't have all the kids names listed I wouldn't have recognized most of them. They just don't look like I remember them. They look like little, dorky kids, and I never thought we were. Just like I'm sure I don't look like some dorky old man now.