Dear Younger Me: Charlotte Peyton

We just celebrated Mother’s Day this past weekend, so it’s only suiting that we continue to celebrate tall moms in our current series.  Say hello to Charlotte!

Name: Charlotte Peyton
 
Age: 46
 
Height: 6’2”
 
Current City: Washington, D.C.

Names, ages and heights of your children:

Sabrina, 22 years old and 6’4”

Willem, 20 years old and 6’9”

Theodore, 16 years old and 6’7”

How did you meet your significant other? Share some of your love story with us.

Randy is my second husband. I decided that the second time around I would not have height as a criteria. I wanted a real partner, and I opened my mind to anyone who was a good match in every other regard. I was newly single, with a 16 month old, 4 year old and 7 year old.  Needless to say, finding someone in the bar scene wasn’t an option.  I joined Match.com, and it must have been right when they launched, because that was almost 16 years ago. People thought I was absolutely crazy for being willing to meet someone ONLINE.  I had already given up on finding someone to date – who would date a young mom with three very demanding kids? So I was looking for a marathon training partner.  Randy was also training for a marathon, so we met on a local running trail on February 20th.  We hit it off immediately.  We talked about my kids, and also about his childhood.  He was 7 years old when his mom and dad split, and he was raised by a wonderful step-father.  By the end of our 8 mile run, we both knew we had found someone special. From then on, we saw each other every day with the exception of when he was traveling.  After 6 weeks, I introduced him to my children.  My youngest, little baby Theo, called him Daddy the very first time he met him.  Randy is exactly my height, and I always thought he was tall!  Now both of us are dwarfed by all our children!

What is your favorite thing about being a mom? And what has been your biggest challenge?

Being a mom is my absolute favorite thing.  I enjoyed nearly every moment of it.  I most certainly had difficult days, and frustrating days.  But now, looking back I really only recall the wonderful days and moments.  I am a nurturer, so being able to love on these kids, and help them become who they are meant to be is the most rewarding.  Now that my kids are almost adults, I can see that the traits, characteristics and passions they had at a young age have become who they truly are now.  My daughter is an exceptional artist.  She is empathetic and she is unique – she is making her own path, and it doesn’t follow any prescribed lifestyle.  I am so proud of the edgy, creative, strong willed woman she is.  I remember telling myself that her strong-willed personality was difficult to raise, but would serve her well as an adult.  She has become all the things I wish I could have been.  My son Willem was always an old soul.  From day one, you could sense this spirit in him that was far wiser than his years.  I still joke that he is a 40 year old trapped in a 20 year old’s body.  He has not wasted a moment in his life.  He discovered robotics in grade school and is using his passion for programming in college.  He already has a job at Capital One as a programming contractor. He applies the same work ethic to sports, and this is another trait I saw when he was a little boy.  Sometimes it was frustrating for us both, because he was driven by big dreams that felt unrealistic and demanding.  Our Theo is our more laid back and easy going child, in the sense that he wasn’t born driven to be an artist or programmer, like his siblings.  But, he is one of the most hard working people I know.  As a little baby we threw him in the pool to see if he took to water, and boy did he!  He is still passionate about swimming, and dreams of swimming in college.  He has blended his sister’s artistic talent with his brother’s inclination for computers, and hopes to be a graphic designer.  I would say he is a perfect blend of his siblings.  Randy and I chose not to have our “own” children.  He fell in love with these three and never wanted to change his relationship with them.  He worried that a new baby might make our children feel displaced or unwanted.  So, we added to our family by adopting two dogs and one cat together instead.

What are some favorite activities that you like to do as a family?

We are all athletes, so there is always someone heading out for a run, swim, lifting, biking, yoga, etc.  We all love to travel, and in particular cherish time at the beach together. This pandemic has given us more time together than we have had since the kids started school and sports. We’ve been baking, playing games, making meals and watching movies together.

How have sports influenced your life?

I have been an athlete my whole life. I think it helped me accept my taller body. I don’t have the natural talent and work ethic my brother had, but I skied in high school.  Crosscounty skiing is a varsity sport in Minnesota.  I have also been a runner and cyclist.  I mentioned that Randy and I met running, so I wouldn’t even know Randy if not for the love of sports.  Athletics has pulled me out of some of my darkest days. All of our kids are athletes too, so we spend many, many hours on pool decks and along the river watching the boys swim and row.

What has been your journey to self acceptance/confidence?

It hasn’t been easy. I was teased horribly as a child for not only being tall, but also a foreigner from The Netherlands.  I grew up in Minnesota, where there is not much diversity or international families. But, through athletics, even though skiing wasn’t “cool”, I built confidence.  Once I got to college, I quickly learned that my height gave me the advantage of innate authority.  People automatically deferred to me in groups and looked to me for guidance.  My height has been one of my biggest assets in my career as a teacher and now in educational sales.

What is your favorite thing about being tall?

I love that people notice me. It makes dressing in unique clothes fun.  And the simple fact that I can see over crowds and reach everything makes life easier!

Do you have any tall girl style hacks/tips that you have used over the years?

Well, clothing has become so much easier now that most stores carry longer lines.  There are also some online stores dedicated to height.  Even so, I wore clothes that were meant for shorter people with my own style.  I always wore pants like capris and rocked it by adding in heals or boots to make it my own look – and to own it. Don’t apologize, embrace it!

Growing up, did you have any examples of tall, confident women? If so, who were they? What’s one of the biggest things you learned from them?

Princess Diana was my favorite tall woman, and when she died I was devastated.  She wore her hair short, but was feminine.  She towered over men, but still was graceful.  She always owned her looks, and her boys are as beautiful and powerful as she was!

What is one piece of advice you wish you could give your younger self? What is one thing you wish someone would’ve told you that you want to pass on to your children?

I can’t regret my first marriage because I absolutely adore my children.  But I do wish I had been open to dating and marrying men who fit my personality, not just a man who seemed tall enough for me.  I think my mind was closed off to that idea originally.  I would like to tell all young women dating that the person is far more important that the package he/she is delivered in!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thanks for featuring people like me, and providing places on social media for us to find others who are like us in mind, body and soul!!

You are so welcome!  Thank you for sharing your story with us!

Xoxo,

Let Height Arise

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