I've talked before about my bumpy, imperfect entrance into motherhood. I've shared with you my reflections on how fleeting this chapter of childhood truly is. 

But sometimes when we're standing in too close it can still be hard to see. 

So when our friends Kelly and Ray came out to reshoot our family photos for the LüSa Organics website, the side-by-side of these two sets of images took my breath away.

Especially when we realized that the first batch was taken only two years and a couple of months before the second. 

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LusaFarm15-075 (1) 4.19.43 PM

Two years. A blip. A blur!

And yet also a lifetime, during which Sage in particular transformed from little boy into young man. 

These images, caught at precisely the right moment (the first just before a major growth spurt and the latter just after) illuminated for me how very quickly these years unfold.

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LusaFarm15-075 (1) 4.19.43 PM

Because suddenly, here we stand.

I'm no longer the mother of young children.

The living room floor is free of toys, replaced instead by books and projects and research. The laundry is free of diapers, replaced by a another pair of jeans in the same size as Pete's and my own. The work of running a family – from caring for animals to cooking meals to laundry and dishes and housekeeping – no longer rests on the shoulders of adults alone, but is divide evenly among us. 

I am no longer the mother of young children. I am instead the mom of a young man and a young lady, both of them on the cusp of grown.

In an instant it happened. And here we stand. 

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And as I look into these eyes and these faces I am lost for words but awash with gratitude for the time we have invested in these hearts, these minds, and these relationships.

However imperfect my mothering journey has been, today I am thankful for each time I managed to chose connection instead correction. I'm glad for the times I made space to play, or made time to refill my own cup so I would have more patience tomorrow. I'm grateful for the moments when – after I blew it as a mother – I found the humble courage to apologize. I'm grateful for listening without judgement and for simply holding space. 

I am crazy about my kids, you guys. As my kids, yes, but mostly as people. They are bright and kind and interesting and passionate. It isn't always easy (what worthwhile thing is?) and there are days when we're all in over our heads. (Exhibit A: me, the past two days, blowing it again and again.) But my dominant take-away is that being a mother is the most difficult, rewarding, transformative job I have ever had. 

I feel so grateful to have been here to witness, however blurred, their constant transformation toward adulthood.

And today I'm surprised to discover that I carry more confidence about them than worry, perhaps for the first time. 

Because now more than ever I'm aware that it's not kids I am raising – it's adults I am gently attempting to shape.

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Though my time as a mother of kids (actual kids) is fleeting indeed, I am doing my best to raise them to be relentless questioners; forces for justice; and authentically, unapologetically, joyfully themselves. 

It's the least I can do.

Because it is exactly what they have both done for me. 

5 thoughts on “Time

  1. Deb Mason says:

    Hi Rachel,
    My name is Deb Mason and I live in Stoddard, WI. I’ve followed your blog for five years. In June I was picking berries @ Mary’s Berries near Ferryville and your family arrived a little after I got there. I immediately recognized Lupine. I thought about saying hello and telling you I love your blog but thought maybe it’s not great to have strangers intrude on your personal, family time! Well today I was at the Onalska Goodwill in the toy isle and I was looking at a toy when a young girl started to excitedly talk to me. I looked up and it was Lupine! She told me all about the Harry Potter cassette set she found but the first cassette was missing. I said maybe it would be fun to start partway into the book with the cassettes anyway. She then mentioned that at least it wasn’t a certain set. I thought she maybe meant a special addition set. I almost asked her if her mom had a blog but thought, well I am a stranger! I also saw you and your husband looking at books! It was surreal on my end to have her appear out of nowhere and start talking to me.and instantly recognize her! She was so excited! I at one point I inquired about one of your herbal retreats. I still love your writings and insight about family life in the driftless. I moved to the driftless way back in 1976 as an 18 yr. old hippie girl! Haha! I love the River and hills. I grew up east of Madison in Fort Atkinson. It’s a blessing to have been able to live here and raise my family! Peace and blessings to you and your family! Deb

  2. Rachel Wolf says:

    Hi, Deb! This is so sweet. Lupine remembers talking to you. She was indeed excited about the cassette tapes! (Shes quite the audio book lover, that kid.) Do say hello the next time you see us out and about! It doesnt happen often and it is always very sweet to meet people who have been reading for a while. Perhaps well see you next June at Marys Berries! 


  3. Sharon says:

    This post brought me to tears. We are in a similar spot. I look at my kids and I see the adults they are becoming. It happened so fast! Thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful family.

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