What is with his obsession with growing up? He eats a meal, takes a nap, accomplishes a new task, reaches the sink without a step-up and then scurries off to the yellow wall to measure his growth by penciled tally marks in our borrowed home. As a joke he stands on his tip toes and I gasp for breath believing for a brief moment that a month just slipped from my memory. An inch over night?
He is growing though. His legs are undeniably lanky. His arms dangle down my back as I carry him up the stairs to bed (my own age weighing heavy on my knees with my child in my arms).
Where has the time gone? Nearly 3 1/2 years have flashed before my eyes. Evidence of the days behind me is measured on a wall in the family room that I wish I could take with us.
"I'm going to grow up to be a man!" he announces with anticipation. And even though that day will come soon enough, I choose to be thankful for today. Not thinking about the pencil marks that remembered a shorter him. For I was present in those moments too. Not looking up toward the ceiling knowing the marks will soon reach the sky. Not squeezing him (too hard) today. But letting him grow. Taller and bigger and happier every day into the man God has created him to be. Thankful for every inch that marks a memory, in fact a gift. And taking a mental photograph of the particular shade of red his hair is maturing into and the sprawling number of freckles spotting his cheeks and nose.
He is no longer a baby. Not even a toddler. He is a boy. A boy who is a hop, skip, and jump from growing into a man.