A few months ago, my five year old begged me to start tracking her height on a wall in the basement. I wasn't opposed to the idea. In fact, I liked the idea of a designated space in our house that could record the stages of the kids' development. But the request came on a busy morning as we were getting ready for school. Things were chaotic and crazed and I remember literally running downstairs to make a chicken scratch mark on the wall to satisfy "her."
Then we went on about our daily lives. School, homework, appointments, ballet, hockey, holidays, bedtime tuck-ins. The days seemed to blur from one to the next, filled with excitement and lots of hard work. And recently, it was a random day after the bustle of the holidays, she asked to mark her height on the wall downstairs again. I thought to myself, "oh silly girl, we just did this a few months ago; there won't be a drastic change yet. But wanting to avoid a tantrum of sorts, I obliged and followed her hastily to the basement wall.
When I got downstairs, I was astonished...The mark on the wall was at least an inch higher than what it had been in November. I double checked to make sure she wasn't standing on tippy toes. I smushed her little mop of hair down to her scalp. Nope. It was legit. This little being of a person had really grown an inch on me. Seemingly, literally, over night.
That's when it hit me. My little ones are busy growing. Not only physically, but emotionally and mentally. And it is quite literally happening over night.
On days when life's schedule of events seem to be dictating each waking hour, it's difficult to stop and really observe what's going on around me. But that "inch" on the basement wall really hit home.
I need to stop. Take a moment. Observe. Take it all in. Enjoy. And Participate.
Because it's true what parents for generations before us have been saying:
"They grow up in the blink of an eye."
"Enjoy this age, they will be grown before you know it."
Most times, I just smile and nod and dismiss this advice.
But the "inch sitch" reminded me to be more in tune. To try to actively cherish these moments. Sure, there may be missteps and days when I can't wait for these little guys to crawl into bed so that I can enjoy some peace and quiet of my own (and some days those seem more frequent than not). But mostly, I find by morning's next sun, I am eager to start a fresh day again with these little guys. I try to remind myself about that "inch." I wish I could freeze this moment in time.
And so I take as many mental notes and build as many happy times as I can collect.
For soon, that "inch" will become two. And two will become four. And my little ones will be out the door and off on their own.