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Coming To Terms With The Great Lie

Little Quip has reached that age where everything is fascinating. He is intrigued by damn near anything. That often results in him telling me, as he did last night, “I want to be an Olympic jumper”. (He calls the gymnasts jumpers and was particularly enthralled by the pommel horse.)

As a parent I find myself telling him that “you can do whatever you want to do and be whatever you want to be.” But last night those words rang hollow. For the first time I came face-to-face with the fact that I was perpetuating the great lie.

You see, Little Quip’s dad is 6’3″. Mom is 5’8″. The shortest male in my family is 6′. The shortest person in my wife’s family is my wife. At three years old, he is already taller than several of the Olympic gymnasts. (ok, I’m kidding, but it’s probably close).

Looking him in the eye, I didn’t have the heart to tell him he’s going to be about 12-18 inches too tall for Olympic gymnastic competition. So I spread the lie, again.

“When you grow up, kiddo, you can be anything you want.”

Written by Michael Turk