I can still feel the doorjamb pressed hard against the back of my head, each move causing a painful tug against an errant strand of hair. But I wanted to be there, and I strained to stretch my body upward, fighting the urge to resort to tip toes. Dad took the ruler and balanced it evenly on the top of my head and then drew a quick penciled line at its intersection with the molding behind me.
It was that time of year again, and my sister and brothers, in chronological order, would follow me to the doorway and undergo the same process. Above each penciled line, a date and a name would be etched. Once finished, we would all crowd around the doorway and compare this year’s benchmark, our personal benchmark, with the last. How much taller had we grown? The answer was always there to see.