When I was growing up we had a little growth chart, really just some marks on a wall in the hallway downstairs. About once a year my parents would measure my siblings and I, writing our names and the date next to each mark.
I remember trying to stand as tall and as straight as I possible could, praying I had grown at least an inch. My brothers would try to out do each other, wearing their sneakers or standing on their tippy toes, but dad always made sure heels were flat on the floor.
Six children grew up, inch by inch. Over time, the growth chart told the story of our family.
When I was sixteen, we moved to a different city. I was terribly sad to leave our home, but inconsolable when I realized the growth chart would be staying behind as well.
Four years ago, my husband and I welcomed our first child, a son. When he was barely able to stand, we hung a piece of flat molding vertically on the wall and marked his height. I was determined to have a growth chart that could stay with us as we moved from house to house. New marks for our second child, a daughter, soon followed.
After ten years in New York City, we recently moved to California, back to the town I grew up in. The growth chart now hangs in our new home. The children love to be measured, they try to stand as tall as they can, arching their feet and tilting their heads to gain an extra inch. We make sure their heels are flat on the floor and carefully write their names and the date next to each mark.
This journal serves as a different type of growth chart. I'm not certain what it will become, but I'm happy to know it will always be here.