Measuring tape

Mom, can you bring a measuring tape?”

“A tape measure? Um, ok, but aren’t you packing up?” 

“No a measuring tape, you know, to measure.”

“Right that’s what I said.  Ok, if you need it, don’t you have one, a tape measure? What a measuring tape? Right, that’s what I said…..”

Who’s on first?

That’s how that conversation felt like.  I didn’t get it.

Not until a few days later. Below is the entry from that day, a few weeks ago:

Today I measured my son.

It wasn’t the standard – the heels against the wall, book on the head, marking of height that we’ve done since he was small.

No, it was a once in a lifetime measure…and one that is not so common, perhaps.


Today I measured my son for a habit.


I took the measuring tape, and he sat in front of me in the kitchen on the counter stool.

I pulled the tape along his shoulders, left to right.

I gently pressed it to his clavicle and circled the tape to measure his neck.

I laid it on his shoulder bone and measured to his elbow, then wrist.

He stood then, I had to measure his chest, his waist.

I had to measure from the base of his neck to his heels.

The tape wasn’t long enough.

I had to measure from his clavicle to his feet.

The tape wasn’t long enough.

We laughed and teased about it all.

But I could feel my heart thumping as I did it, at first.

Then it just all got kinda still, one of those “time out of time” moments.


I measured my son for his habit today.

It was kind of surreal, kind of hard, kind of funny, kind of wonderful.


They don’t ask for a measure of his heart though….that is what this coming year is for.

This year he and the order will measure his heart and parse out where it is to go.

But I don’t need to do that, so I can let him go to find that out…..

Because I measured his heart so long ago.


Today I measured my son for his habit.