Measuring The Moments
Everyone has memories of their childhood right? The little things that you did with your parents and siblings or family members that stand the test of time and stick with you. I don’t have many but I have certain ones that really stand out. They’re little memories, sometimes just flashes of moments. But as a parent, I now see how important those moments must’ve been to my parents. I now see why they chose to do some things, that at the time I thought were silly or unnecessary. Things like keeping locks of hair from our first haircut, making our handprints into Christmas ornaments, keeping all of our art, tracking our growth, and all the photos. I get it now, I see why you were holding onto these pieces of time. It’s because time escapes you when you’re a parent.
When I was growing up my parents used to track our growth on the inside of our door frame. There were marks all over it. Tiny little dashes with dates and initials for each one of us. As I grew I loved seeing how short I had been and I always couldn’t wait to see how much I’d grown. I thought I was so tall, and it always ended up being a competition with my siblings, who was the tallest, who had grown the most. But I never saw it as anything more than that, just something fun to do, with no real significant meaning.
It hit me full-boar when Lilly turned two. Time is racing by and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. How is she already two? Where did those two years go? I swear I was paying attention, but I turned my head for a second and the years are gone. So in my sudden panic, my new urge to try to hold onto all the moments, I realized I haven’t been tracking her growth. I don’t have those little marks from one to one and a half showing me how much she’s grown. I can see it in her of course, and I know some of the numbers from all of her check-ups but I wanted the nostalgia of seeing those tiny dashes and dates written down.
There was just one thing: I didn’t want to track her height on the wall. As cute as that is I know we won’t be in this home forever. I know that eventually we will move and taking a door frame with me isn’t an option. I want to keep these little memories with me, and when Lilly is long grown and off doing the same thing for her children I will be able to fondly look back at the growth chart and remember just how small she was. Just how feisty she was, and how hard it was to get her to stand still for two seconds to take that pen and mark it above her sweet little head. I’ll remember her nursery that the chart hung in, I’ll remember how I had her daddy hang it. I’ll remember all these things, that Lilly won’t. She’ll remember being measured, she’ll remember looking at the marks. But she won’t remember the love that comes from those little marks, or how much those moments mean to her mommy and daddy.
I’ll look back on those memories as the growth chart hangs in our next home, long after she is gone. After time has moved forward, taking my little toddler with it, and leaving me with a grown woman. I’ll look back and have that with me forever, so that I can attempt to hold onto time in every way possible.