You Can’t Change That

Like a brilliant sunset, it’s here and then gone.

As fleet as a bird on the wing…

Passing as unnoticed as the morning dew…

…even as it goes speeding down the track of no return.

From here.

To here.

Like a river, it flows, with its twists and turns, its highs and lows.

But mostly highs.

But it’s just as they say.


…and tides wait for no one.

Childhood, theirs–not ours–slips away like water through our fingers.


Or a kite caught up in a strong wind.

As warm and wonderful as a hug, but just as fleeting.

Suddenly they’re all grown up; intelligent, creative, compassionate human beings, ready to make their contributions to the world.  Which is the whole point, isn’t it?

Their childhood is a gift…

…we gave to each other.

It has its season, and then it’s gone…

Off they go to seek their fortunes.

Dang!  And just when they learned how to cook!

But here’s something they won’t know until they have children of their own.  Long after our kids are parents, long after they’ve gone gray, long after they are elderly orphans…they will still be our babies.

 photo e44fa7f6-b8ce-4182-b007-8bfc3bce5a47_zpsee121352.jpg
Neither time nor tides can ever change that.

All words and images copyright 2013 Naomi Baltuck

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia.



  1. Yes. No truer words have ever been spoken. Every investment of love is a treasure of wishes for a happy independent child who will always come home to mom. Tears here. I feel the fleeting moments.

  2. Many Moms and Dads are feeling their hearts walk with their children at this time of year as graduation bells toll. What a bitter sweet time. For the “children” as well. Your photos and captions say it all. Pure artistry! And guaranteed to stir. Your post touches and goes ping with my heart. Thanks again for stirring my memories and my joy, in visiting the past and in looking for the wonders to come.

    1. Dear Marion,
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, so beautifully expressed. Yes, this time of year a lot of parents will have those mixed feelings, but mostly pride and joy. I appreciate your visit!

  3. Oh, Lesley, I know, I really do know. But it’s okay to drop a tear or two, as we feel those precious fleeting moments go whooshing by.

  4. Oh, Naomi! How I loved the memories that you shared here. I was grinning through a little mist as I read and devoured those beautiful children, their mom, and their wonderful dad with the eyelashes! Yep, everything has its season. I remember the monuments of your travels, but most of all, I remember the family in exotic and familiar places. Thank you very much for sharing them with us!

    1. Dear George,
      Lucky for Eli, he got his dad’s eyelashes! You have me smiling through my tears too, but in a good way. We still have a big adventure to look forward to with the kids this summer, but I know we are all crossing into the next season of our lives. It is so good to hear from you, George! Thanks for the visit, and your really sweet words.

  5. I second those emotions. Amen!
    Gorgeous family, Naomi. Heartwarming post as ever.Thanks for sharing.

    1. Dear Tess,
      Thank you so much!

  6. sue says:

    That’s the thing. People always tell you “it goes so fast”- but they never tell you how to get through being so happy and proud while also feeling so sad at our “losses” as we enter the empty nest time. It is a lot for a parent’s heart to hold all at once.

    1. You said it so well, Sue! It’s spilling over a little today. Time to go into the garden and plant some seeds and listen to the birds sing–a healthy reminder that seasons will turn and life goes on, and we all have the benefit of a bountiful harvest.

  7. Jamie Dedes says:

    Oh, Naomi, nothing is more beautiful or more painfully fleeting than the years when our children are young.

    This is a beautiful photo memoir, Naomi. Such a lovely family you have. You’ve done well. And, yes, our kids will always be our “kids.”


    P.S.: If you put this up on “Bardo,” I have a poem to go with. We could do “Empty Nest: Part 1” and “Empty Nest: Part II” if you are so inclined.

    1. Dear Jamie,

      I know you understand, because you also have the best son in the world. Thanks so much for your encouragement, and your very kind response.

      I will be honored to share this on The Bardo, and am looking forward to reading the poem.


  8. Amy says:

    It says so much of life, yours and ours. Beautiful post, and so moving… Thank you for sharing your precious photos!

    1. Dear Amy,
      Thank you so much for your visit. I find it a comfort to know that other people have been through this, understand the feelings, and go on to live happy normal lives (or at least as normal as they were before.) I so appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts.

      1. Amy says:

        We may feel the same, but you expressed it so beautifully allowing us to echo with smiles and tears. Thank you, Naomi!

  9. ShimonZ says:

    beautiful and moving post

    1. Thank you, Shimon. I am feeling those tugs at the heart today. Bea had to fly from Stanford on a red eye flight across the country. She is interning at the Yiddish Book Center, while learning Yiddish, and all about the history and culture surrounding Yiddish. I’m so happy for her, and proud of her. But it will be her first summer away from home, so I will also be missing her.

  10. kathy says:

    Wow. Wonderful post, Naomi! I’m off to hug Kevin…

    1. Thank you, Kathy. Yes, hug him, and then let him eat ice cream straight out of the carton, for no good reason. Thanks for the visit, and for making me smile.

    2. Dear Kathy,
      Sweet! Thanks for stopping by. It is always so good to hear from you.

  11. bulldog says:

    Now this was a great post… they grow so fast that one wonders where and how that time past un noticed… lovely share…

  12. What a lovely lovely post – hope your “kids” like it – now you made me cry Naomi

    1. Dear Dallas,
      I made myself cry too! I had tears running down my cheeks as I went through the old photos. Thank you so much for your really sweet comment. It is always good to hear from you.

    1. Thank you, Maggie, for your visit, and taking the time to comment.

  13. I think I’m gonna cry when I stand watching my daughter (currently 3,5 years old) getting married with someone she loves. As if all the memories are fleeting in my mind…

    Beautiful pictures you have, Naomi!

    1. The time will fly by so quickly, but you still have many sand castles to build, books to read, games to play, and lots of hugs to share with your little girl. Give her a hug for me too.
      Thank you so much for your visit, and for sharing your thoughts.

      1. I will, thank you.

  14. So true! Love the photos, esp. the great costumes!

    1. Thanks so much for the visit. I think the costume thing must be in the genes; it certainly runs in the family!

  15. footsy2 says:

    “…they will still be our babies.” You never said a truer word 🙂

    1. I can tell you’ve been there, done that. Thanks so much for checking in!

  16. Lisaman says:

    What wonderful memories you have

    1. Thank you! So glad you could stop by, and I appreciate your taking the time to comment.

  17. Bams Triwoko says:

    So true, Naomi… great post.. 😀

    1. Thank you for the visit, and for taking the time to comment. It is good to hear from you!

  18. Marso says:

    Oh, so well said (and shown). It makes me want to go through my millions of photos and create such an inspired, reminiscent, contemplative storyline (sigh). . . (sighing again for the images I’ll recall–the images only in my heart)

    1. Hi Marso,
      Thanks for the visit, and for your thoughtful response. There are so many ways to tell a story. I tell many of my stories in person, using only words. And when I blog, I have learned to pair words and photographic images. I have visited your blog and am impressed by the many excellent photographs–they are evocative and artful. Sometimes a photograph says it all. Sometimes a photograph says it all.

  19. Miss P says:

    Wonderful words, and pictures. Beautiful Naomi

    1. Dear Miss P,
      Thank you so much for your visit, and for your kind response.

  20. Well done, both photos and commentary. I particularly like the photo with the fountain and the girl washing her hands.


    1. Dear Janet,
      That is my daughter Bea. I have loved that photo for many years–she’s all grown up now. It has just been waiting for the right moment, so I was pleased to find a place for it in this post. Thank you so much for your visit, and your very kind response.

  21. Very sweet. Fun and expressive photo’s. Thanks for sharing your boy and girl.

    1. Thank you! Storytelling is a healing art. I was missing them both, and just sharing a bit of their story helps. Bea called yesterday and today from her summer internship, and I feel MUCH better knowing she is safe and settling in. I appreciate the visit, and your very kind response.

  22. What a great post, and the truth rings out from your words and photos. A very generous share of your family life. Mine is just about to spread his wings, but the journey so far has been exhilarating. I ave learned so much from being a parent 🙂

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful response. I wish your young fledgling all the best as he tries out his wings. Being a parent is the hardest most wonderful most exhausting most fulfilling job I have ever had the privilege of having. I am so glad to have met you!

  23. katzmcmullen says:

    Nice things to remember. Feeling the love.

    1. Hi Katz,
      Thanks for stopping by. There is much sweetness, and so much love. Time and distance will never change that either.

  24. adinparadise says:

    Another wonderful post, Naomi. Your family looks like so much fun. I love the big baby in the yellow socks photo, and yes it’s so true that their childhood “slips away like water through our fingers.”

    1. Dear Sylvia,
      Thanks for the visit. It is always so nice to hear from you. We do have a lot of fun when we are together, and I am missing my little birdies, but keeping busy. Thank goodness for telephones and e-mail! Bea and I talked twice yesterday, as she settles into a summer internship all the way across the country. Still, the four of us will have a chance to travel together this summer, and we are all eagerly looking forward to that. Your family seems like a big fun loving family too.

      1. adinparadise says:

        How exciting for you to have the summer travels to look forward to, Naomi. Yes, I don’t know what I would do without modern communication technology. Family is so important to me too. 🙂

  25. So true, so beautiful! You are gifted!
    Where, oh where did you find the ship kite???
    And thanks for the visit to my blog!

    1. Hi Annie,
      Thank you! You are so kind! Isn’t that kite cool? We got it many years ago. I am almost certain that it was a summer special at Costco, but the packaging is long gone, so I couldn’t say for sure. I enjoyed your blog and hope to see more of it!

  26. scillagrace says:

    Spent Saturday evening out with my 22-yr. old baby, slept in her new apartment that night, tiptoed out at dawn…still in a daze about who we are and how we’ve changed, yet the familiar kisses goodbye and her baby eyes keep that bygone era in my consciousness. We change and we linger…like images long stared at that reappear even after we look away. A mystery, an aura.

    1. Very sweet! PJ party! I do sometimes catch glimpse of the infant in my grown children’s faces, or in the way they tilt their heads. Thank you for sharing your story, Scilla. I am so glad you have each other! There is nothing like it.

  27. bluebrightly says:

    This is lovely, Naomi. I like the way you set the stage with those first three images & words…

    1. Thank you! I never know quite what I am going to do until it is done, but that post seemed to flow out of the fingertips from the heart rather than the head. Thank you so much for your visit. What a pleasure to meet you!

      1. bluebrightly says:

        Isn’t it great when it flows that way. Other times it seems it’s all in your head, and a struggle. Life.

      2. When it doesn’t quite fall into place for me, I will go work in the garden or take a shower, and have another go later. Then when I go back to it, the solution usually comes to me. But, yes, it is very frustrating when you can’t find words to voice your idea, or an idea that you’d like to voice.

  28. diannegray says:

    What a beautiful post for the challenge, Naomi. So very true 😉 And I absolutely love your pictures 😀

    1. Dear Dianne,
      Thank you, thank you!

  29. TBM says:

    Lovely post. It is amazing how quickly time flits by.

    1. Thank you! I appreciate your stopping by.

  30. megtraveling says:

    Your pictures and words go so well together – it’s true and so poignant!

    1. Thank you, Meg. It’s kind of like a jigsaw puzzle, putting it all together. I really love to find the perfect fit. Thanks so much for your visit!

  31. Sherry Galey says:

    Very, very poignant!

  32. Hi Sherry,
    Thank you for the visit, and for taking the time to comment. I enjoyed my visit to your blog, and look forward to more of your posts.

  33. xpat92 says:

    Hi Naomi,
    Thank you for visiting my blog.
    This post was so amazing and what a huge emotional moment for you.
    P.S. Your comment on my blog was very welcome. Your comment has also entered you in a prize drawing coming next August:

    Good luck!

  34. nutsfortreasure says:

    How very true from start to stop. Very nice work Naomi

    1. Thank you, Eunice!

      1. nutsfortreasure says:


  35. Tina Schell says:

    Well said, well shown!

  36. frizztext says:

    carrying that Zebra is a very funny photo!

  37. A walk through life in words and images.
    Spectacular and touching!!!

    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate your visit, and the time you took to share your very generous response.

    2. Hi Isadora,

      Thanks for the reblog! I have been visiting your blog, and I think it’s great.

  38. luggagelady says:

    Dang…tears hovering! What a delightful heartwarming pictorial. Great parents truly transform our world. Thank YOU!! 🙂

    1. So good to hear from you–I love hearing your thoughts, and you always have a new way of looking at things. Parenting is a two way gift, and the most meaningful part of my life. It has transformed me too.

  39. ausurfer says:

    Hello Naomi
    I came across your blog somehow or other. You know what it’s like; you see a link and think it looks interesting. So that’s what I did tonight (I’m in Brisbane, Australia, so it is 2:00am Wednesday here, whereas you are 9:00am Tuesday there as I write). It’s kinda cool that you’re in Seattle, because my brother-in-law lives there (in Kent), and we visited him for Xmas 2011.
    Anyway, have enjoyed what I have read so far. I’ll be back – but for now I better get to bed. 🙂

    1. Hi Kim,
      I’m glad you found your way here! I love Seattle! Does your brother-ion-law like it? My dear friend Meg Philp lives in Brisbane–a professional storyteller. We visited her a few years back. I wonder if you know her?
      I loved your photos–you have a great eye. Thanks for the follow. I look forward to following you too!

      1. ausurfer says:

        Hello Naomi
        Yes, my BIL loves Seattle. He grew up on a sugar cane farm in north QLD, so the landscape and temperatures would be somewhat different. But he has been there a lot of years now and has acclimated.
        I don’t know your friend Meg, though a Google search found out some information about her pretty quickly.
        Thanks for the comment about my photos. I haven’t posted for some time, but started again today, so hopefully (god willing) I will be able to keep up regularly.

  40. Madhu says:

    What a lovely, lovely interpretation Naomi! I could relate to every word and picture. It seems like only yesterday that our daughter left home, and now her son is almost a teenager!!!
    That ‘hug’ photo is just precious 🙂

    1. Hi Madhu,
      How can it go by so quickly? Even so, if you have a grandchild who is almost a teen, you must have taken a dip in the Fountain of Youth.
      The other day I was skimming through photos, and found one exactly like the one you mentioned, with just his eyes peeking over his dad’s shoulder, only Eli was all grown up. Now I am kicking myself for not remembering what I did with it! If I ever find it again, I will have to do a side by side!
      Thanks so much, as always, for your encouragement.

  41. Lovely to see such a close, supportive, and loving family, where you all respect each other’s individuality. Naomi, you’ve expressed more than could fill a book, in a few well-chosen words and photographs 🙂

    1. Dear Sarah,
      I consider you the Queen Bee of Haiku, the wordmaestra of simple and beautiful eloquence. Coming from you, especially, your generous response is appreciated!

      1. Naomi, I’m blushing. We’re truly a mutual admiration society!

  42. Wonderful images and thoughts. Thanks for joining the challenge!

  43. Captivating photos 🙂

  44. Beautiful! . . . and you’ve captured how fast it flies by. ❤

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