The door to my wardrobe is a magical place. Not quite in a league with the one that C.S. Lewis wrote about. No one is getting to Narnia from that corner of my bedroom, but we can travel into the past. More specifically, we can travel into my son's past. It is on this door that my wife and I have been marking his progress through the years, and the inches from babyhood to teenageness.
It used to be that one of us would have to hold him steady as the other carefully marked, with permanent marker, the most accurate accounting of his growth to that point. In the beginning, we were fascinated enough by the way he grew that we felt compelled to mark it every six months. When I look at those initial lines on the door, I wonder how all that personality ever fit in something so small.
Eventually, he became as interested as we were in his relative height. That's when he started asking if it was time to measure again. It has been no secret that his peers have stretched out in advance of him, and he remains optimistic about his chances to reach six feet. He has seen the days when he was turned away at amusement parks because he was shorter than the clown pass. He can now stride directly past that turnstile with impunity.
The door itself ends five feet nine inches off the ground, the same height as his father. I know that I am done ascending, and my gradual descent is imminent. I remember that when I was my son's age I dreamed of being just a shade taller than my own dad. It was a mark my older brother reached, and I'm fairly certain that my younger brother would be looking at our father squarely in the eye if dad had lived this long.
That's what I 'm looking forward to. Instead of the fear that my son will surpass my in any way, I greet the idea with the same anticipation he does. Like the magnolia tree we planted in our front yard the week that he was born, I hope that he will someday tower above me. And I will take refuge in his shade.