It’s an almanac of height, and significant to a very small number of people. It’s called a “height wall,” and I’ll bet you have one in your home.
Height walls where we periodically record the growth of our children from the time they can stand until the time their growth plates close.
Where is your’s?
Our height wall is in our Wisconsin home, the place where our children were born. It’s a vertical four-inch, drywall-covered support beam separating the kitchen—built in the 1980s—from the original part of the home, which was built around 1930.
We return to this lake home from Tucson every spring, and it therefore seems the logical place to mark growth each year. It’s a smudgy, dirty wall that only we appreciate. Pencil hash-marks are in place for not only our daughters, but also for several family members (and close family friends), who regularly visit us. There’s no real system for measurement or marking the heights and it’s only been vandalized once, and that was in July of 2003, when Uncle Todd labeled himself “No. 1, IL DUCE.”
Todd Cozzens continues as our tallest family member, and Cinco, yes, our long-haired pet Chihuahua, our shortest. Our most cherished measurement is of our niece, Stephanie, who in 1998 stood a glorious 5’-11” tall. It may have been her last measurement as she passed away in 2002.
2012 marks the year our elder daughter, Willow, has shown no annual growth in one year. We were informed her growth plates had closed back in April, 2011 when she had x-rays just after tearing the ACL in her right knee. So, she has made her mark on the world at 5’ 9” tall. “Too tall,” if you ask her. But what does she know?
Camille, on the other hand, at 14-going-on-15, managed to add another inch to her height during her freshman year. A volleyball player currently playing middle position, she was the tallest girl on her club team—however, she’ll still need to add a couple more inches to maintain that tall-girl status. She, too, believes she is tall enough.
Neither of my daughters understands what it feels like when at some point in middle age, one no longer reaches the heights of youth. That said, I’m letting my hash-mark stand at 5’-10”.