Fleeting. A poem about growing up. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

Fleeting. A poem about growing up. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

Fleeting. A poem about growing up. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

Fleeting. A poem about growing up. | Clean : : the LuSa Organics Blog

There are days when I ache with this truth.

I feel it in the marrow of my bones.

Clear into my soul.

Because I know.


These days are fleeting.

Nothing lasts forever.


Not the sleepless nights of a newborn nor the angst of a pre-teen.

Not the sweet milky smile of a baby nor the quick humor or this half-grown child.

Our life has become this pile of snapshots and in each photo I can see you growing up.

Sometimes it feels so fast I can scarcely breathe.


No, nothing lasts forever.

And so I look around and wonder where the time has gone.

It turns out that "this too shall pass," my motto on the hardest days, applies to everyday.

And suddenly I don't want to squander a moment.


Today is fleeting.

And I wonder when my son will be as tall as me.

And when my daughter will no longer curl in my lap and kiss my cheeks.

I wonder at how much longer my arms will be the welcome nest that my children flock to, encircling them as they sleep.


And when they will finally pull away.


And so tonight I will lay beside you until you are soundly dreaming, just in case I wake tomorrow to discover that you've grown up.

I will listen to your breathing and remember the days when you were small and sometimes it seemed so hard.

And I wonder why it seemed so hard.


In the darkness I promise myself to lead with my heart.


To lead with compassion.

Starting now.

I promise myself to stop wasting time speaking words I will regret.

I imagine this life with children grown, off to write their own stories and live their own adventures.

And while my mind delights in them finding their wings, my heart weeps at the suggestion.


And there is that ache again.


Perhaps that ache is love.

True, full, indescribable love. The kind that you didn't know existed until you had children of your own.

The kind you can't explain now because language is inadequate.

The kind of love you whisper into small, sleeping ears because you just need them to know what is unknowable.


This much love.

Yes. Maybe that ache is the feeling of a heart bursting from a fullness that is immeasurable.


And perhaps that ache will help us remember what really matters.

 May it keep us kind.

May it keep us playful.

May it help us find the words and be the parents that we want to be.

Words like "I'm sorry," and "It hurts," and "I understand."

Words like "I love you," and "You are enough," and "I am here."

Words that heal us and connect us.


May it help us remember how it feels to be small.

I remember how it feels to be small.

May we live this life and guide these children with the goal of having nothing to regret.

Not one thing.

And may we remember always that when the sun sets on today our child will be one day older.

One day closer to grown.

And that tomorrow is another chance to start again.


Oh, yes. These days are fleeting.

So I will savor the taste of my child's spirit when it rises up.

I will skim it off and drink it deeply.

So that I never forget these fleeting days.

So that I never forget this perfectly ordinary day that will be dust and snapshots tomorrow.


Today I will hold you in my arms.

I will listen to your dreams.

I will take your hand and go wherever you wish to go.

While you still want to journey there together.


Because soon it will be time.

 Time to open my arms and let you go.

 As you find your wings and soar.

And I ache.


63 thoughts on “Fleeting.

  1. Karen says:

    Oh yes, it goes by so fast. How can it be that something can be both joy and sadness at the same time? Somehow it is though.
    I will say, my experience with my biggest (a university student now) has been full of the joy. The sadness that I expected at her leaving has been replaced with wonderful conversations, love and comfort in a different way and me bearing witness to our new reality that is equally lovely.
    Enjoy your day.

  2. Jillian says:

    Oh, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have tears streaming down my face. This morning started off rough. These past few weeks have been hard. I was sitting here today thinking how I could possibly turn this day around. I have a 4 year old and a newborn baby and I know these days are fleeting. Soon to be a distant memory. I don’t want regrets. There is so much good! Thank you for the reminder… sometimes I read your blog and it is uncanny how much they pertain to my life at that moment. Almost as if you were an old friend that I call for guidance. So, although well have never met, thank you!

  3. Angie says:

    I love when you post something that so nicely describes feelings I have been having too. You can put it into words better than I can even think it. It happens often – must be something in the stars. Amazing once again 🙂

  4. Dark Blue Dragon says:

    I think you are right. I think the ache is just fullness. Love of your children is a fullness that exists with no one else,even your partner. You spend everyday preparing them, teaching them, loving them, supporting them for the ultimate goal that they will one day walk away and be free. It is heart achingly sad and so joyous all at the exact same moment. Glad to hear I am not the only one who feels the pull of time everyday.

  5. Mikaela says:

    So beautiful, so hard, and so true. As a grown daughter who loves her mother more than the world itself, I see it from the other side–my days with my mother are fleeting, too. I will most likely live to see the day when I can no longer call her with good news and bad, when she can no longer tell me whatever I need to know, when we will no longer have each other. The only constant in life is change. I believe the Eastern saying that “if you try to hold on, you will only get rope burn.” And yet… it’s so very hard to do otherwise.

    Thank you for putting pen to paper to share this.

  6. Krystal Friou says:

    OMGosh…I just had to close my office door because I was crying so hard. This is how I have felt the past few weeks. I have for some reason felt it. Felt it fleeting. Thinking that Sebastien will be grown before I know. Ugh.
    Thank You so much for writing this. Just beautiful.

  7. KC says:

    I find it amazing when you can look them in the eyes and see them changing in that moment. Then something in their eyes looks different. I’m so glad to be present and there to see it all.

  8. One Day At A Time says:

    “This too shall pass” was one of my beloved grandmothers favorite sayings. Not much makes me cry but reading this I shed a tear or two. My baby turns 3 in a month and I am stunned at how quickly the time has gone by.

    I need to remember this is fleeting and to curb my temper and tongue. The things he does today (the one that cause my temper) may not be of interest tomorrow. I wish I had a time lag between my brain and tongue. 5 seconds so I could rethink or tailor what comes out of my mouth.

  9. Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com says:

    Lovely and heart-breakingly true. This week, my kids are off from school, and today, when I wasn’t getting any work done and they were asking for one thing and then another and then another, I snapped for a moment and longed for them to be back at school. It pained me to think it, even for that moment, because it’s always in the back of my mind: Someday, they won’t be little, they won’t need me, they won’t be in the house anymore, they’ll be long gone.

    So often, Rachel, you find exactly the right words, and your photographic eye is perfection. Thanks for sharing so much of your life and your talents here with us.

  10. Patraq says:

    I want to print this out and frame it. Or at the very least, pin it to the bulletin board. I can’t do either, though, until I can see through my tears. Thank you for such an eloquent piece. You captured my thoughts beautifully.

  11. Rachel Wolf says:

    Amazingly your commented while I was on the phone with my own mom. I think writing this made me reflect on what you described above and it also gave me empathy for her journey as a mother and learning to let go as well.

  12. Rachel Wolf says:

    The book Raising Our Children Raising Ourselves encourages your first step when dealing with moments like you describe as “Silent Self-talk” – you say everything that wants to snap off your tongue, but just in your head. And you breathe. Just a few seconds is often all it takes. Hope that’s helpful somehow. The book is amazing.

  13. Rachel Wolf says:

    Seven is big. If you don’t already know of it, google the Waldorf seven year change. It will help you understand why you are feeling what you are from a different perspective. And happy birth-day to you, mama.

  14. Kelly Witkins says:

    Saw this post below today and am grateful. These words, so eloquently written, are the thoughts that run through me daily. As I watch my children grow as the days pass by so quickly. As my baby is about to turn 8, my baby! I tell them often, “You are the oldest you’ve ever been” and while they laugh, I am in awe of the truth in those words. So many moments have passed, so quickly. Those precious days of babies in my arms, toddlers whose scrapes could be cured with a mother’s kiss, kindergartners who struggled to say good-bye in the morning and go off into a world filled with their peers – their lives becoming more and more separate from the close knit nest we share – sleep overs and friends becoming ever more important – their social calenders filling up quicker with each passing year. How fast the years go by now. Just yesterday these were babies in my arms, sweet milky smiles and simple needs. Now, they are giggling goofballs, becoming more independent every day… a little older with each sunrise.

  15. susan says:

    I’ve also been marveling at this lately… my daughter is 4 1/2 now. That’s 25% of the way to 18 years old. A quarter of her “childhood” has already passed. And so many times I’ve struggled with the seeming endlessness of each day as things like sleeping through the night seemed they would never come. It is an eternity that dissolves in the blink of an eye when taken in hindsight. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts!

  16. Amanda Lyon says:

    Thank you! I loved this and needed to read it this morning. It was a ruff sleepless night with a teething baby. My oldest just turned eight on Valentines day, (and there are two more boys in between!)
    Next week marks the passing of our little girl, we had her in our lives and arms for only four short years. We always expect more dont we?
    Our lives are blessed with four healthy boys, but her absence will always be apart of our days. LOVE every moment, even the ones you dont want to repeat.

  17. Renee says:

    I found your blog via Mothering with Mindfulness. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful piece. It so resonated with me and touched me, I had tears running down my cheeks. Our daughter is now 18 months old and it goes so fast.

    Enjoy every moment.

  18. Jen L says:

    So well said. These are the thoughts that roll through my head on the good days, on the bad days, and especially on the just normal days. Thank you for putting this out there in such a beautiful way. On another note, my friend sent me a link to this post, and I’ve read through several other posts on your blog, completely enamored of your words and photos. I just now realized that I’d already fallen in love with another something of yours — Booty Balm! How nice to put a face/voice to the magic! 🙂

  19. Jelena says:

    Thank you for this beautiful thoughts. My older daughter turned six today, nad I was way less than perfect mom today, so this is really healing. Thanks.

  20. Jolene says:

    As a mom of 8 I can testify to a life that has lived this over and over again. My youngest is 15 and I still sneak into his room when he is asleep to whisper “I love you” (shhh… Don’t tell him). The ache you describe, though, never goes away even as I watch my youngest quickly growing into this kind, loving, dependable man. Sometimes I wish I could do it all over again, but then I realize, no… I’m tired… I’ll just play with my grandkids and give them back to their momma when I’m done…smile. Thanks for your precious words, Rachel… you are gifted.

  21. Ilene Duffy says:


    I couldn’t even finish reading this…I am too choked up, but I certainly understand the word “fleeting” so much more now than I even did before. Son #1 off to college (history major…maybe), son #2 electrical engineering major (he didn’t get it from me!), and son #3 graduating from high school in a few weeks. They are tall, shaving, handsome, smart, and nice! But, oh those days were indeed fleeting.

  22. sheila@ALivingFamily says:

    You are SPEAKING to me…Goodness. Right to the core. I wonder, how do you manage the fleeting with your vision for your business and purpose overall?
    THANK YOU for sharing this. I don’t have words to gush right now, but I am moved, deeply and truly.

  23. Sarah Caldwell says:

    Mine are 23, 21, and 18….

    I kept a journal when they were younger and wrote my thoughts and experiences of the days and long nights.

    Now I can look back and marvel at my strivings…..

    Oh so fleeting moments of small meaning, seeds of yearnings as yet unseen
    Bloom into greater meaning
    Over time.

  24. Nahuatl Vargas says:

    I love to read your post when you are, in way, taking us back to the present and the importance of the beautiful things we have, now, with our kids. Helping us to remember just how much we love them and how little other things that makes us worry so much are not important.

  25. Leah says:

    I have never been able to put into words how I feel and this is exactly it. I wish I could freeze time. I wish our world would slow down and I could spend more time with my little ones. The time is so precious. So special. It’s a real live prayer to be in the moment with them. Thank you for writing this poem. It breaks my heart that it’s fleeting but that’s exactly what it is.

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