The days are long, but the years are short {2017 Personal Favorites}

February 22, 2018  •  8 Comments

As many of you know, during 2017 I worked on a 365 project for my daughter - taking daily pictures of her life.

In my introduction to the project I wrote these words to her:

"I want you to be able to look back at these images years from now and read my notes. I want you to know how amazing your life was when you were seven and that even when you were a little human you already had a big personality! I also want you to be able to share these with your little girl (or little boy, or both) one day."

As I am working on organizing the images and notes to print them in a book, I wanted to share some of my favorites.

All of these images are from just last year, yet looking at them gets me so emotional. That bitter sweet feeling inside - happiness from having lived through the moment and now having a memory of it, along with the desire to stop time.

This quote of Dorothea Lange comes to mind: "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."

The days are long, but the years are short. These images are a perfect reminder of how important it is to be present and enjoy today. Because no matter how ordinary and mundane it feels now, there is a magic in it as long as you have an ability to notice and appreciate it!

 

My bookworm. Reading is your favorite activity. You can read for hours and I have to go to the library at least once in two weeks to get another thirty books for you. Fiction, non-fiction - you love them all! 

The best part of it is your ability to retain the information and share it later. I think in your 7 you already know more than I do in my 31.

 

On the way from school you begged me to play outside, at least for 10 minutes. The playground was closed due to the snow, but look what you discovered at our backyard! Looks pretty dangerous, right? But I let you take risks. For a few seconds while I am taking the picture.. You then realized that you need something to knock them down. Luckily the rake was found near by!

 

The minute we noticed that is snowed again, we were outside! This is you licking the snow from the inside of a car mirror hoping that I won't notice.

 

Another trip to the Museum of Natural History.

 

We are moving this month and since I knew I am going to start packing your room this weekend I wanted to take a picture of your room before that. We are moving within same neighborhood, so it won't be a big change, but you are kind of nervous about the move. We've been in this apartment for five years, since you were 2. Probably the longest time at one place.

 

This picture is very special for me. As special as the person in the picture. I met Edith during the summer when you were a baby and I took you to the beach twice a day. You had extraordinary bright blue eyes and your skin got dark in the sun so they really popped. People were stopping us at the street to look at you. Edith was also fascinated by it and that's how we met. We had long conversations at the beach daily and became really close. 
You love Edith and always want to go and visit her. She keeps joking that her house is like a museum full of art and interesting little things. This time Edith let you play with the very old dolls that her daughter used to play with when she was your age. You had such a deep respect to them. You played very carefully and then organized everything very neatly. Then Edith gave you a necklace as a Valentine's Day gift and you didn't want to take it off even when it was time to go to bed. 
In this picture you are listening to the "Sleeping Beauty" recording. You were fascinated both by the music and by the whole experience.

 

"You are a Jewish cat, because otherwise why would you come to a Hebrew school?"

 

You might be not the best volleyball player, but you are trying hard and you have the best coach ever!

 

We have a Russian bakery not so far from our home. We often stop by it on the way home from school. This type of bread (Borodinskiy) is our favorite and it tastes exactly as the one we ate in Russia. It's usually still warm and smells so good that we can't wait to get home and take turns in biting it.

 

I guess sleeping across the bed is more comfortable..

 

You worked hard on writing back to Zoe. You decided to make your letter extra neat and asked me how to spell different words. You said "Zoe is in 1st grade now, she will look at my letter and it should be a good example for her!". 
My favorite part was "Girls Rule" picture. You are such a great artist. Just look at your choice of composition and colors. I also loved how you filled the frame and how many details you added to the picture.

 

On the way to Philly you said:

- Hanna and Jeff have 3 kids now.

- Why?

- Because now they also have Zoe and she is like another child, right?

 

We found the spring in Philly today and made sure to enjoy it as who knows how long to wait till it comes to NY.

 

 Toy story I found in your room: when you want to charm girls but fail to buy pants that cover your bottom.

 

Today is the day of an Art Show at school. You've been so much looking forward to it and both me and daddy planned to go and enjoy your art work. Unfortunately you got sick and had to stay at home.

 

A playful otter. 

I also want to share another highlight of our trip to the zoo that I don't have a picture of. A humming bird was trying to fly through a big glass wall and got so tired of trying that it fell and I picked it up and carried to a place where it could fly away safely. You've got a chance to see it very close and even pet its head gently. Once in a lifetime experience.

 

Enjoying the beautiful weather.

 

We came to the playground early on Sunday morning and you’ve got to spend some quality time with your friend.

 

Fire Island bound. This was your first time taking the ferry and even though it was very windy and cold you've been dancing on the roof the entire time. Daddy's warm sweater was very helpful.

 

Today I wanted to get some ice cream and found THIS in the freezer. Daddy was walking by the beach in the morning found it and brought home to show it to you as he knew you would appreciate it. You were beyond excited and called this creature: "what a sweetie!"

 

You were so lucky to have Ms. Inglut as your teacher this year. Not only that she is an incredibly talented teacher, she is also fun and loving. And best of all - she loves hugs as much as you do. What a perfect match!

 

And you also read a book to him.

 

This huge Elsa doll was a highlight of today's playground outing.

 

Yes, that's what he does.

 

Watching solar eclipse with your classmates.

 

The day when we saw a giant sunflower on the way to a playground.

 

It was so wonderful to spend a weekend with you at YMCA family camp and get immersed in nature. We both enjoyed it!

"What a cute little slug!" - you said, exploring this creature for at least 30 min.

 

You got in trouble for not doing your homework and decided that "under the bed" is your new home.

 

School picnic ended up with some crazy playground fun.

 

After school fun at a playground.

 

 

I'd like to share a Youtube video by Gretchen Rubin, that inspired the title of this post and is a perfect summary of my thoughts:

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Comments

Kaleen Enke(non-registered)
I would love to have stories and images like this of my childhood.
Amy(non-registered)
I'm so inspired to do something like this for my children. I've been doing a 365 this year, but I like the reasoning behind this project. I feel like I got to know your daughter (and that she likes butt cracks on her dolls and frozen sea animals).
Kelly Tuohey(non-registered)
Polina, you never cease to amaze me with your ability to document life! Zoe misses her friend! This was like taking a trip down memory lane and I love seeing how this entire project came together. Please share when you have printed out the album!!! I can't wait!
David Mullin(non-registered)
What wonderful pictures from such a great age. Makes me sad that I didn't do something similar for my girls. You both will look back on these with fond memories.
Morgana Secco(non-registered)
Your pictures alone are strong and beautiful! But when you add the stories behind them, they become ever more touching! I wish I will be able to do something similar to my children in the future, really loved it!
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