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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Day One of Thirty-One: Not My Wall

"Elliot, HOW TALL ARE YOU? Good grief, did you grow a foot in the last month?"
Puzzled at first, as though he's wondering-did I? 
Elliot smiles with a sheepish grin, "I don't know." 
He continues to giggle as he walks away saying, 
"I'd probably be way over my last line on the wall by now."

"Okay, heals to the edge. Elliot, get off your toes. I see that you know. Look straight ahead. Okay, there we go. Step away, let's take a look. Wow! Look, this time last year you were all the way down there! Look how much you've grown."

"Can we do it again mommy?"

The wall. The wall that I drew little pencil lines on. I don't have it. I'll never get it back. The lines that stretched from near the baseboard and slowly climbed the corner. 

It was yellow. 
These walls are gray and white. 
We painted that wall yellow. I always wanted a yellow kitchen. It somehow seemed fresh and bright to me. Afterward, I wished I had done an ocean blue or seascape color scheme. But now, I just miss the yellow. The chipped yellow wall with smudgy pencil marks. 

Yes, Elliot, you would have definitely surpassed your last line. We know. That's good enough. But this is not my wall. 


  1. Such a nostalgic tone with a touch of sadness. So sorry to hear about the fire. I hope your family will make your new house a home.

  2. Betsy,
    I love this! My sister's wall in FL has the boys' growth marks. So much fun to discuss where and when who passed up whom. I'm looking forward to your stories!

  3. Your post brought tears to my eyes. As you reflect on your old and new home in your slices this month I hope and pray you will find peace. Sending thoughts your way.

  4. So many of us do that same thing, measuring our kids against a wall, without truly realizing how precious it is. I'm sorry for the loss of your home, and look forward to reading about how you create new home together. Thanks for sharing this moment with us.

  5. Let me just wipe that tear. There are so many things we take for granted in this life of ours. This is a well written, thought provoking piece gets right to the heart of the matter. Hugs.

  6. Oh, Betsy. I don't know if I can take a month of this!

    We have a wall like that, too. I never paid it much mind. I will now. :)

  7. Oh .... my parents had that wall. We took the section out when we sold the house last year. It is amazing how something so seemingly small can be so big. You will always have the memories. This piece would be a wonderful picture book -- so many kids would connect with this story.

  8. Betsy, I'm with Dana. Such a sad thing. I still have the door I marked our boys on even though we took it down when we remodeled.

  9. Besty - such a sad but homey post. There is this moment of sadness and yet this strong memory of family, home and thoughts to cherish even when the real wall is gone. Beautiful writing. This is a great way to let go and remember all at once.

  10. Oh my goodness. Like a punch in the gut this one. I'm so sorry you don't have your wall. I'm so sorry you don't have your house. I'm so glad that you are going to be writing about it.

  11. Oh, this pulled at my heart. I have one of those measuring walls - I know what you are missing. I am so so so sorry to hear about your house fire. I hope everyone was safe. How horrible an experience.

  12. I can't imagine constantly missing keepsakes that hold so many memories. I'm so glad that Elliot seems to be able to hold on to his humor through it all.

  13. So sorry about the fire. I marked the door jamb in our kitchen. Somehow, someway, when we leave this house that jamb is coming with. Now I'm thinking I should recreate it in a portable form. Hugs.

  14. This is such a sweet piece. The tone and voice in it pull at the heart strings. I am inspired to hear more of how writing lets you and others process life's tragedies.

  15. As I've been reading, I was thinking how you have it through your story telling.