Little things: the height pole

Sometimes life is tracked in pen or pencil; sometimes it’s scribbled in Sharpie marker. But no matter what, it’s art. And it shows us we’re growing.

On a supporting beam in our basement is artwork in progress, evidence of lengthening bones and stretching skin. Most days, I’m too busy folding the laundry or shelving new rolls of toilet paper to notice it. But the days I open my eyes, I see its messy beauty, and I wonder about the methods used to draw the lines. I’ve even witnessed the shoddy approach of the artists involved, their markings imprecise and inconsistent. And I’m glad I’ve never made rules around it that could’ve quashed the fun.

We’re not the only ones who have marked the height pole. Our visitors want to see if they’ve grown too, and they have, I exclaim, when they go in for another measurement months—or even years—later. Except for our friend Melissa, who in her thirties has probably topped out at her 5’11”.   

With the height pole, as in other parts of our lives, we compare ourselves to others when it doesn’t matter. “Flicka was taller than Dicka at that age, but not as tall as Ricka.” Who cares anyway? We’re all growing, aren’t we? Even those of us whose inseams have stayed the same.

I think of another mother millennia ago. Did she have a special way to measure her boy who grew outside of space and time? Her measuring tape went in all directions: before and in, over and through. And her son’s purpose made him the tallest of us all.

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.


*Miss an installment of the blog? Or want to catch the story from the beginning? Visit

*Names in this blog have been changed to protect my family, neighbors, and friends in the neighborhood, and in a nod of appreciation to the beloved Swedish author Maj Lindman, I’ve renamed my three blondies Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka.