You’re Not Just Small.

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They never told it to me in words, but it’s on his chart at the pediatrician: failure to thrive.

The reason we had to do blood tests on a baby just turned 1. The reason I had to sit with him after they made him sweat, the tube on his arm sucking up sweat to check for cystic fibrosis. The agony caused by a mama’s doubts. Is there something wrong? Should I be ______? Take him to a GI? Give him three Pediasures a day, like the pediatrician suggested? (Do you have any idea how much that stuff costs???)

We fumbled through, me and David and his dad.

At his 2 1/2 year appointment – I don’t remember that one with Libbie, I wonder if it’s because of that FAILURE marked on his chart – the pediatrician relented. “He’s just going to be small,” she says. What I’ve told her since he was 9 months old. He’s no longer on the second percentile line, under the chart, so she’s content.

Sweet Pea, there’s nothing wrong with being small. And you may be small in stature, but that has no bearing on your presence, your life. Daddy’s favorite “joke” – real, of course – is that he lied when he said he was 5 feet tall and 100 pounds on his learner’s permit. But see all he’s done? A master’s degree, a lovely family, a heart for God and for loving students.

You’ll never be just small. At 2, you are the dichotomy of sweetness and shrieking, tender love and pushing hands, introvert and desire to be heard. Your personality and heart will be what carries you through this life. Never let anyone make you feel just small.


I’m a day late, but joining in Five Minute Friday on Small. Five minutes, all writing, no thinking or turning back.

5 thoughts on “You’re Not Just Small.

  1. i love this. i’m a nurse as well as a mom. glad i didn’t raise my kids in the days of all the %tiles. we had them, but not to the extremes they are now:(

    hard to watch your child struggle with areas you know will be even harder in the future. finding ways to encourage them and help them be strong internally…as you spoke of. can often be difficult in a group of braggy moms. carry on girl!

    btw, i’m your neighbor on fmf.

  2. My youngest (who will turn 16 next month) was the exact same 2 year old (even the sweat test). At 8 they sent us to a pediatric endocrinologist and spoke about growth hormone disorder and bone age. He hit a MAJOR growth spurt around 14 and is taller than his two older brothers and has feet bigger than his 6’2″ daddy. And healthy and happy- just like your little guy is. Don’t worry, mama. He will be just fine.

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