Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Growth Chart

The Growth Chart...  
  I lay in bed this morning, compiling a to do list for the day.  On that list was "what will I blog about today?"  As I lay there thinking, I happened to glance out into my hall and catch sight of our family's growth chart.  That chart is like a family history, unassumingly sitting in the hall across from the downstairs bathroom.  Just looking at it tells so many stories.
    We had been in the house about a year when I painted it.  I took out my craft paints (I had just taken a beginner's folk art class and we had learned shading).  I wanted it to be as tall as my husband (six feet four inches), so that they could compare their heights to Daddy's.  Yellow would make it look like a school ruler.  I took out Christopher's measuring tape and marked out each inch and foot.  It may have taken an hour or so.  I stood back and admired my work.  I had no idea what it would come to mean.
    That growth chart has become pretty full, nine years later.  Shortly after I painted the chart we became foster parents, so the foster kids are on that chart.  My nephew Matthew comes to visit us each summer for Canada Day, he's on there a few times (I would need to stand on a chair to measure him now, he's over 6 feet tall now).  I have had to go over old entries with permanent marker a few times now.  When we repainted, I masked the chart off with craft paper.  You can see the old paint framed by the new sunshine yellow paint.
   Every few months the kids run excitedly with with a pencil, and beg to be measured.  Everyone lines up and takes a turn.  I then take my fingers and calculate how tall they are now compared to their siblings at that same snapshot in time.  We then take a few minutes and talk about how much they have grown.  The last time we measured everyone we discovered that Gracie was shorter than her older brother Gabe when he was a full year younger than her... which then in turn sparked funny stories about Gabe.
    A fun project that took just a fraction of my time has become a treasured historical document.  Who knew then what it would come to mean to us now?

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