because he's just like that…

I knew it was coming. I mean, it was right there on door jam in the kitchen.  It was only a matter of, well, time.

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This barely decipherable picture is the spot on the kitchen door jam where we record everyone else’s skyrocketing height.  My youngest son is, as of Tuesday, officially and irrevocably taller than me. I am now the shortest member of my household. 

I knew it was coming, but I brought it on myself.  Some evil genius prompted me to say, “Hey, let’s look and see who is taller in the mirror."

We looked at each other, back to back in the mirror.  "Oh, My God!", I cried, clutching my head in despair.  Simultaneously, a gleeful smile lit up his eyes. We turned to face each other. Eye to eye, we wrapped our arms around each other and stared into each other’s faces.   He grinned broadly, triumphantly.   My eyes started to well. My baby.  Gone.

He saw my sadness. And because he’s just like that, he bent his knees and shrank down.  He looked up at me again, one last time. 

There may not be an end to motherhood, but there are endings.  This is one, marked out in smudged pencil scratchings on a wall.  And the only thing that mutes the sadness is the smile on his face, spreading like a brand new dawn.

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13 thoughts on “because he's just like that…

  1. This just happened to me, too! But for the first time…and it is weird. I still need to yell at him sometimes, you know? But it’s weird looking *up* at someone to tell them to go to bed :-)..it definitely changes the dynamic, no doubt.

  2. Well, with just the two-year-old girl I’m a long way from that moment as a mom (if it ever comes–I’m average height, and Z. is likely to be, too).
    But I am the shortest person in my family of origin, and I remember when I saw my four-years-younger brother after a few months away at college, and how that exact same grin spread across his face when he saw he’d passed me.
    I was the first person whose height he had passed, but he wound up taller than everyone else on either side of the family.

  3. I really don’t think I will ever experience that moment. My girls are in the 0-10% range for height and weight and always have been. Being of average height myself, I am pretty sure they won’t see 5’4″.

  4. for someone whose boy just took his first steps, your post is a harbinger of all the bittersweetness to come. beautifully written…especially the image of him crouching to let you see him look up at you one more time.
    aww. you’ve obviously done good work in this job you’re working yourself out of.

  5. Oh! I dread that day, too, although I know it’s coming. When I manage to hoist my nearly 7 year old onto my hip, her head is above mine. Before I know it, it will always be there ……

  6. Oh. oh. Tears welled up as I read that. Especially when I read how he crouched down to look up at you – which means he’s not just growing up, he’s growing up into someone who is fine and decent and maybe has a sense of humor, too.
    (my older one is just five, but I already marvel at how fast this growing-up thing happens).
    Oh.

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