From Smallest to Tallest

One of my favorite photos of all time, Easter 2002, when my son was truly the smallest one in the family.

One of my favorite photos of all time, Easter 2002, when my son was truly the smallest one in the family.

By Karen Hendricks

His day has come. I’ve been telling my son for years, that he would only spend a fraction of his life as the “smallest” and that one day he would be the “tallest.” The third of our three children, at 13 years of age, he’s now surpassed both of his sisters, as well as me, in height. Only Dad remains, and there’s no doubt his lanky frame will soon zip past Dad too.

It’s incredible to me, that “my baby” is now at eye level. This is the sweet boy who was always toddling to keep up with his sisters during their baby days. Even though he will always be the youngest, it’s amazing how quickly the roles reversed and he became the tallest. It seems as though his height has zipped higher and higher in direct proportion to his voice dipping lower and lower. It was a shocker last September, as we had to step foot in the men’s sections, rather than the boy’s sections, while doing his back-to-school shopping.

Just more proof that time truly does fly, that it’s so important to savor every day, every milestone, every treasured family moment. I encourage you to take time to step off the merry-go-round of our busy lives to enjoy and celebrate the most special people on earth… our children.

Today: father & son photo, back-to-back, with two inches or less in height difference.

Today: father & son photo, back-to-back, with two inches or less in height difference.

Reflections on childhood:

  • “Every cliche about kids is true; they grow up so quickly, you blink and they’re gone, and you have to spend the time with them now. But that’s a joy.” – Liam Neeson
  • “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”  – Fred Rogers
  • “Nothing I’ve ever done has given me more joys and rewards than being a father to my children.” – Bill Cosby
  • “[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”  – Jim Henson
  • “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – e. e. cummings

Share the stories of your childrens’ growth spurts… How quickly or slowly did your childrens’ birth-order stair steps become rearranged?

What are your tips for slowing down and savoring childhood milestones? 

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7 thoughts on “From Smallest to Tallest

  1. #1 son used to stand next to me comparing his height with mine. He’s now taller…and doesn’t compare height much anymore. I think now that he’s taller than me, he feels less like a “kid.” #2 is now playing the height game with me. It’s only a matter of time. Hard to believe there was a time I held each of them with one arm.

  2. Love this Karen!

    I think my kids come up beside me nearly every other day checking to see how much they grew! The thought of my kids growing up has been on my mind a lot lately because now my boy is taller than me (that doesn’t take much though, LOL) and it really puts it directly in front of my eyes (literally) that within a few short years they are off to college! I’m definitely savoring my time with my kids….not looking forward to the years when we don’t get to hang out all summer long during school breaks!

  3. My son is 11, and the top of his head reaches my eyebrows. His feet are now slightly larger than mine – I often slide into his snow boots to run out for the mail, rather than find my own. Next year they will fall off of my feet completely. I just did the laundry the other day and noted the many fleeces and sweatshirts that I will gladly take on as my own as his hand-me-downs in the not-so-distant future. Hard to believe he’s the same baby I brought home eleven years ago. It seems like both just yesterday and another lifetime ago. 🙂

    • Lisa, welcome to “Off the Merry-Go-Round!” So glad you stopped by. And excellent point about your son’s fleeces and sweatshirts. Hand-me-downs take on new meaning as our children grow! Enjoy… the clothing as well as the treasured moments. 😉

  4. What a wonderful quote from Jim Henson ~ and so true! Also, the quote from e.e. cummings you shared is one of my favorites from him! Since my son is adopted, and I do not have “history” from the birth father’s side, I can only guess that the reason he is so “tall for his age” is either: a) he is simply in the typical growth spurt, and that his growth will eventually slow and even out; or b) he will take after the only tall person on birth mother’s side — his birth grandfather. We are often told by other people how tall my son is, and I do hope he will continue to be so. As he grows, however, I have tailored my life so that I can just, well, stare at him and watch every inch! Liam Neeson said it well also; it is indeed a joy to do so ~ no matter what sacrifices I have had to make along the way.

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