Thursday, June 16, 2011

I didn't think it would be this hard.

Nineteen years ago, when our tiny baby girl came into the world (with her brother and sister), we were told she wouldn't live through the night.

Well, she did live through the night, and through the next night, and the next week, and the next month, and the next year.....

And here we are {almost} nineteen years later...

Chelsea is alive, and healthy, and beautiful.

Yesterday she "officially" started her senior year of high school, by having her senior portraits made.

Our plan was to ONLY have the formal (drape) pictures made for the yearbook, because later we are having our fantastic photographer friend, Roxanne, do her "real" senior portraits.  But, because of some vague wording on the notice, we were unsure if we would just be able to have those done and still have the option of buying drape photos.

So we have been running around like crazy for the past week trying to get everything ready for the big day:


Chelsea's first pedicure:

And picking out the perfect outfits:

  I have been excited for her, but I also dreaded it at the same time.

Most of the time, when she's had school pictures made, the photographer just rushes her through, keeps clicking until they get a picture with her eyes {sort-of} open and call it a day.  I have been SO FRUSTRATED with her school pictures in the past.  It wasn't until Roxanne came along last year, that we've had professional pictures of Chelsea that actually look like Chelsea:

I literally cried the first time I saw these.  For the first time, somebody was able to capture my Chelsea. 

(If you live in the Atlanta-Birmingham area and would like to have Roxanne to photograph your family, click on her link "RoPoPhoto" in the left-hand side bar or just click here.)

So, my hopes for yesterday were not high.

We spent the entire morning working on her hair and at the last minute, we decided to add a little makeup.  Normally, Chelsea wears ZERO makeup, but since this is such a special occasion, I decided to add just a little.  I didn't want anyone looking at her going "Who is that?"

We made it to the school, and patiently (and nervously) waited on her turn.  I brought my camera with me to try and document the action.

**warning....tons of pictures ahead**

 Chelsea's favorite

 Chelsea and one of her school friends, Haley.

 The photographer's view

 Chelsea was LOVING the feathers!


All three photographers did great and took their time with her, and for that, I am deeply grateful.  I hope they were able to capture my Chelsea....but it's OK if they don't, because Roxanne will soon!

What I didn't realize during this whole process, was how hard it was going to be watching all of this take place. The first thing I noticed was that I was one of the only parents there.  Most seniors just came in, did some shots, changed clothes by themselves, took more shots and drove themselves home.  They didn't need mama's help.  I noticed they were able to take direction from the photographers without any help.  I noticed they sat and chatted away about their jobs, their boyfriends, their plans for the summer, and their college plans.  All the things that normal teens do when they get together.

Even though Chelsea is getting to experience being a senior like her fellow classmates, she's not really getting to experience it like them.

And it breaks my heart.

I should be getting THREE children ready for their senior year of high school.  But I'm not.

And it shatters my heart.

And then I see my precious baby girl put on that drape, just like her fellow classmates, and she looks just like one of them, but she's not.

And that destroys my heart.

I didn't think it would be this hard.
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