What we keep

Yesterday Rosie, Noah and I were walking home from summer morning day camp, backs sticky with sweat and eyes squinted towards the afternoon sun, when a man on a bicycle coasted past us on our left. “Mama YOOK,” Rosie declared, leaning forward in her stroller with her finger pointed ahead. “A BIKE.”

“That’s right, a bike,” I replied, and she settled back in her seat as we continued to roll down the sidewalk. It was a small exchange – a throwaway comment made up entirely of words she’d said many times before about a commonplace occurrence. But it struck me in that instant how all of a sudden, with those two tiny sentences, she had arrived to a new place that I had not known she’d been nearing. She had strung those four words together to tell me a simple thing, and I received that information easily and casually, like she had been delivering such proclamations for years. That small moment marked a sort of awareness in me of the shifting of time, and I knew this because hours later I could still clearly see that image in my mind – her posture, her pose, her extended arm – a portrait of a girl who was leaving babyhood behind. It had been captured in freeze frame and filed away to that place where all the other records of the uneventful events of life are kept – that hidden tome holding the pictures that surface with a familiar scent or gesture or melody on the radio.

Those images will be what will remain of all these hours of baths and scraped knees and sandwiches with the crusts cut off, years from now when my days are filled with different things. A multitude of mental snapshots of ordinary moments, tucked away for safe-keeping until that future time when, walking down a sidewalk, I am passed by a man riding a bicycle on a hot summer day.

What We Keep from racher on Vimeo.

(Music: Time of Times by Badly Drawn Boy)


1 Laura Lokers { 06.30.10 at 9:52 am }

I can only hope that Abby and our little one on the way have half as much fun as Noah and Rosie look like they do! My heart also broke a little when you said how casually we accept these big leaps they take and how little we realize how fast this ride is really going…

2 Anjie { 06.30.10 at 10:00 am }

Beautiful! Beautiful kids…beautiful talents you have…beautiful life.

3 Rebekah { 06.30.10 at 10:37 am }

I. love. it. my second favorite video you have ever made. (I am now officially in need of a full-length version of my all-time favorite video. )

4 Elizabeth { 06.30.10 at 1:20 pm }

What a beautiful video! Thank you so much for making this and sharing this.

Rosie’s expression during the car wash cracked me up.

5 alianora { 06.30.10 at 1:22 pm }

That is a beautiful video!

6 Aunt Rachel { 06.30.10 at 1:33 pm }

Love it, Love it, LOVE IT! :) Thank you for that Rachel.

7 Kate { 06.30.10 at 3:02 pm }

So beautiful, Rachel! Your kids, your writing, the video.

Makes me want to have 10 kids RIGHT NOW. (Fortunately, my boyfriend doesn’t read this blog). (Double fortunately, neither does my bishop).

8 the "bad" Rachel { 06.30.10 at 4:02 pm }

That post was so beautiful it make my allergies act up!

9 gmo { 06.30.10 at 8:23 pm }

Big lump and blinking back a few tears.
Thank you for such a precious collage.

10 Carrie N. { 06.30.10 at 9:53 pm }

You are so talented, Rachel. What an amazing video! And your kids ain’t too bad themselves :)

11 Sara P { 07.01.10 at 7:00 am }

Absolutely amazing and beautiful! I continue to stay in awe of how much fun your house is – how well your children are able to learn and be with each other and just, well, “be” in your home!

12 Darth { 07.01.10 at 9:25 am }

My compliments to the director, producer, choreographer, and especially for the person responsible for the casting.

13 Allen { 07.01.10 at 10:41 am }

will you please be my mom?

14 Lane { 07.02.10 at 11:01 pm }

Amazing. Beautiful. Priceless.


15 Angela L. { 07.03.10 at 12:49 pm }


16 Linda { 07.09.10 at 9:07 am }

Do you think you could go back in time and video my kids’ childhoods? Cos you sure did capture those moments with such sweetness –

17 Jill Tolbert { 07.10.10 at 9:37 pm }

Makes me want to go back and do it all over again with mine. And that’s saying ALOT, let me tell you! Awesome.

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