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  • The Measure Of A Boy

    December 11, 2006

    “Eighteen inches!” the nurse announced shortly after you were born. That’s officially how long you were. When I’m old and gray, I won’t remember eighteen inches. But I will always remember that you were the length of my forearm when your tiny soft warm head rested in the palm of my hand.

    A line on the wall marks 30 inches. That’s how tall you were on your first birthday. 30 inches meant that I could hold you in the rocking chair with your head nestled into my neck and your knees tucked comfortably under you. 30 inches meant I could lift you over the crib rails and place you in your bed without waking you.

    Another mark on the wall shows that when you turned two, you were 35 inches tall. I don’t remember 35 inches, I remember the leg hugs. You would exuberantly wrap your arms around my upper leg and bury your face into my thigh, squealing with delight and glee and slobber. That’s what leg hugs mean – 35 inches.

    Now at three, you are 40 inches tall. 40 inches means you can sit in my lap and I can rest my chin on your head. And smell your hair. And whisper kisses and prayers down the back of your shirt without you knowing it.

    I know that someday we will stand eye-to-eye and then there will be a day beyond that when you will rest your chin on my head. And I will still want to whisper kisses and prayers down your shirt without you knowing it.


    1. Plain Jane Mom says:

      Sigh, yeah. You nailed it šŸ˜‰

      December 11th, 2006 at 5:07 pm

    2. Carla says:

      I remember sitting on my mom’s lap when I was about 3. She would wrap her robe around us and my little curly head would poke out. I would then say something cute like, “look a mommy head and a baby head”. It’s one of my fondest memories of being little and I’m 47 now and mom just turned 80. We don’t do that so much anymore! šŸ™‚

      December 11th, 2006 at 5:27 pm

    3. Laurel Wreath says:

      Oh amen. This choaked me up, with three boys I can totally relate. I have one that can still sit on my lap, one that looks me in the eye, and one that can stand just under my chin. I only have a year, if that, till one looks down upon my head =(

      December 11th, 2006 at 6:32 pm

    4. Blog Antagonist says:

      Sniffle. My oldest is 63 inches. I want 35 inches back.

      December 11th, 2006 at 6:33 pm

    5. Big Mama says:

      I swear that Caroline grows 3 inches everyday. Where does the time go?

      December 11th, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    6. rwl10802 says:

      I pick my 5 year old up every chance I get. . .he’s the end of the babies for me, so I try to hold on. . .and luckily he loves it as much as I do. He is very much his own boy, but he loves his momma.

      December 11th, 2006 at 8:37 pm

    7. hailey's mom says:

      those are some bitter/sweet feelings, aren’t they? just before i read this post, i was looking back at pictures of my hailey from last december…so tiny. she is now a year old and i still have to pinch myself.

      i still take every chance i can get holding her on my lap…i don’t want that feeling to ever go away.

      December 11th, 2006 at 8:39 pm

    8. erin says:

      Oh, my, that brought tears to my eyes. I like to sing a song by Kim Hill to my oldest boy at night. It is called “I love you up to the Moon.” Anyway, it talks about how one day he will be older and taller than me. And, I love that thought! Don’t get me wrong. I want him to stay little, but how fun to think that one day my little boy will be a MAN!! Makes me smile!! Thanks for your sweet words. Loved it!

      December 11th, 2006 at 10:06 pm

    9. Inkling says:

      I love that last line. I have never seen that little habit of mommies put into words, but I’m sure we all do it daily.

      December 11th, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    10. Elise says:

      I know. They’re going to be huge someday, aren’t they? And sweaty. And stinky. And pimply. And…still my baby boys.
      It’s hard to imagine.
      Those prayers breathed down their shirts and buried into their cowlicks – I hope God can hear them. Cause I’m asking Him to slow time down.

      December 11th, 2006 at 10:28 pm

    11. Beck says:

      Aw. My little guy has really sprouted up this year and suddenly he’s this tall lanky child with not much baby left in him. I still love him all to crazy, though.

      December 12th, 2006 at 5:21 am

    12. whimsy says:

      My DH is a 6′ 200lb cowboy who STILL likes to be close to his mama. If she’s sitting on the couch, he’ll sit close to her (can’t be TOO odvious ya know)
      She’s smart enough to not sit in her super comfy, heated, massaging recliner when he’s around and chooses the couch instead.
      Guess who takes the chair? Yep. me. Usually with my 5yo boy curled up in my lap.

      December 12th, 2006 at 7:53 am

    13. Becky says:

      Oh, this is so sweet! Beautifully written.

      December 12th, 2006 at 8:02 am

    14. Jules @ Everyday Mommy says:

      Tears brimming.

      December 12th, 2006 at 8:13 am

    15. Susan J. says:

      Perfectly said. I can tuck Jonathan under my chin standing now. It goes SO fast!

      Does Sean have the book “I’ll Love You Forever”? It’ll get cha.

      December 12th, 2006 at 8:17 am

    16. Jane says:

      snif! sigh.

      December 12th, 2006 at 8:20 am

    17. Sarah's in the midst of it says:

      Our two younger ones are both short for their age–I’m hoping this means they can stay in my lap a little while longer:)

      December 12th, 2006 at 8:55 am

    18. Shalee says:

      Even though my children are about to o’er take me in the height department (and they’re not even 11 yet- gah! Of course, 3/4 the world is probably taller than me.), I still find ways to hold them – snuggling in bed, having them sit in front of me while watching a movie or sleeping with them for a while (a rarity, but something they both treasure and request for now.) I think the days are drawing short as to how long they will let me do this, but I’ll enjoy it while I can.

      December 12th, 2006 at 10:39 am

    19. Kristin says:

      The little buggers just go right ahead and grow on up… even though we keep telling them to stop…

      December 12th, 2006 at 11:28 am

    20. Jerry Grasso says:

      Hello – these thoughts and wishes aren’t just for Mommies, you know. šŸ™‚

      December 12th, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    21. marcia says:

      He’ll be 18 on Monday. He’s 6′ to my 5’4″.
      You got the tears rolling today.

      December 13th, 2006 at 9:40 am

    22. Mommy Dearest says:

      I have a 20-year-old son, and I can tell you that you don’t know how right you are.

      December 15th, 2006 at 6:52 pm

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