Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Random Reality

Maybe I thought if I didn't share the photos...the senior photos...I could stay cozy in my delusional world just a little bit longer. If I don't say anything "out loud", the ball won't start racing. Make no mistake, there are super exciting things going on in all of this reality, but that nostalgia can be a tough competitor. Here we are though, on back to school eve. I am ready, if by ready we are referring to an acceptable amount of peanut m&m's in the jar.

I laid out the official evidence to document Lily's progression through public school for her to see. Proof that she was always allowed to make her own picture day fashion decisions. We laughed and discussed which ones I tried the hardest to talk her out of, which outfit was her favorite, why she selected the half-body pose.

These photos are not what I think of when I look back at this girl. Beyond row one, she is only vaguely similar to the snapshots that scroll through my mind. I found myself in the same spot I was in three years ago when I pondered whether we would be able to capture something that felt like a senior picture. The difference this time around was that I would not be the only one with ideas and opinions. 

This teenager, who has been very vocal over the past year or so with her thoughts about the way too many pictures I take, actually was interested in her senior photos. I was even consulted on a couple of wardrobe ideas, and my advice was followed. (I didn't even have to threaten to wear my cape!) 

Once again we headed to the beach, one of Lily's happy places. Somewhere in the midst of inconveniently placed ropes, slow moving vacationers and shark warning flags, this happened...
I kept thinking I wanted to have an assortment of black and whites, but that hair? How can I take away its color? And who is this shy girl? The one so easily embarrassed when her mother declares a Kodak moment? Pardon me while she sets up this shot in between families leaving the beach.
We headed back the next night for a different theme. And while this may be the shot I took...
 ...this is the one that seems not so long ago...
And this most certainly is the image that appeared in the viewfinder...
...but this will always be the version in my mind...
I will never apologize to my kids for taking so many pictures...never. I love the "I was there" sort of proof that I witnessed the moments and the stories that went with them. Photographs are also important to me because they have always given me a sense of belonging - a part of something.
The screen is getting just a little bit fuzzy for some reason, but I am ready to say...
My baby girl is a senior in high school...

 ...and it is going to be an incredible ride!


  1. Wow - I admit to getting a tad choked up here and I don't even know this young lady. Great photo history montage. And these beach photos are fantastic. The world is her oyster. Hope it's a fabulous school year. Looks like you can be very proud.

  2. Aw.....what a sweet post! Your daughter has pretty mermaid hair. She plays the violin? She must be very talented!!! :)
    This is my second week as an empty nester. I'm doing real well. I'm drinking heavily.

    Has a decision about college been made yet, or are y'all still making college visits?

  3. Here's to Lily taking the world by the tail and NEVER letting go. Love her to pieces.

  4. I LOVE these photos! So cute when she was little, and the senior pictures turned out great. But no photos with Foz?


  5. Time certainly flies by quickly, doesn't it? She is such a pretty young lady. before you know it you will be sending her off to college, moving her into her first apt, walking her down the aisle...Been there, done that!!! Enjoy these days!

  6. Those pics and your daughter are beautiful!!!!! Good luck to her in her last year of school! How exciting!

  7. Dammit! I AM NOT READY!!! Where are my tissues? Lily, I hope that you have the best senior year ever!

  8. I. Can't. Even.

    Our babies grow up way too fast! I swear my little girl just finished grade school...high school. But wait...she also finished college. And she just started her 3rd year of teaching. And she's married to boot.

    You are documenting her milestones and that's awesome! My mom used to sing at weddings, and my favorite song was "Turn Around" (Where are you going?). Brings tears every time!!!!