I had to take Ryan to the pediatrician today for his 6 month check. He gets checked every 6 months for his medication and also for his height and weight. And wow, was today an eye opening visit.
Ever since Ryan came into this world, he was tiny and fragile. He almost didn’t make it and those first few minutes were extremely scary and nerve wracking. The cord had wrapped so tightly around his little neck that he was not breathing, not moving, not crying. He was still a little ball that refused to unwind and stretch out. But as the doctors quickly worked on him, they freed the cord and did some chest compression’s and color started flooding into his little body and screams started coming from those tiny lungs.
He grew much slowly than the other kids, stayed small but feisty. As he went into elementary school, he was the smallest in his class each year. And with each passing year, the taunting and teasing became harsher and more direct. Tears would flow as he came home to say that this boy made fun of him all day because he was short. This girl teased him because everyone was taller.
At doctor visits, going to specialists was discussed. Growth hormones. Pros and cons. We decided to wait. It seemed so extreme and I wasn’t sure the potential side effects would outweigh the possibility of a few scant inches. Yes, we would wait.
Middle school was worse. Everyone seemed to hit the pubescent growth spurt, except Ry. Girls towered over him. Boys started towering too. Most poked fun at how he was the smallest kid in the entire grade. We told him to make friends with the tallest kid and have them protect him from the bullies. Three years in a row he was the smallest. He was in front for every picture, he was in the front middle in every school choir concert.
He also learned to be sneaky because he could get away undetected. The taller kids would be spotted. Ry could bob and weave and no one would ever notice. He still has the ability to walk in a room and be completely silent. Great for sneaking out, sneaking food from the kitchen into his room, sneaking into the basement for marathon XBox sessions. We used to joke that we needed an alarm system to track movement inside the house when Rob was in high school. I’m not sure it’s a joke with Ryan. I keep envisioning him with Ninja like moves sneaking around the indoor laser beams, spraying an old bottle of Axe to detect where they are and still making it out of the house in 30 seconds.
But then high school started and the miraculous happened. He started growing. By the start of Freshman year, he had grown a few inches. By the end of that school year, pants no longer fit him. He grew more. And more. And MORE. Pants and shoes weren’t lasting more than a few months. People started saying he was almost as tall as me.
Last October for his six month check, he was 5’7″. He was THRILLED!! That was a height we didn’t think he would ever be and tried to brace him for the fact that he would never be considered tall, but he was very very average. It was fine. He was fine. Until today.
Today, just over 6 months later, they weighed and measured. I won’t divulge his weight but I was happily surprised. Then the height. She checked it twice. We went back into the exam room and she plotted it on the graph. He is now 5’9.5″!! He has grown 2.5″ in SIX months! Ry looked at me and smiled and actually had tears in his eyes. (He’s going to kill me for saying so!) She finished up the rest of the usual stuff; went over medications, blood pressure (which was prefect by the way) and then left and we waited for the doctor to come in.
The doctor asked Ry what was going on, how were things, and like he just couldn’t hold back, he blurted out, “I grew 2 and a half inches since last time!!” And he beamed. And the doctor beamed. And so did I.
And apparently, the new goal is 6 feet.