Monday, April 6, 2009

My "Bo".....The Senior Photos....My Thoughts

Can my little, toddling baby really be the young woman in these photos?

If your babies have grown up, you'll understand the bitter sweetness of it. If not, it may feel like years before you find yourself in my shoes. And I know mothers always say, "Treasure it. It flies by." But it's true. And it did.

I was older when my babies came so I knew that time warps and folds ever faster as the years progress. And yet I am, even now, caught off guard.

I savored the fragrance of sweet baby heads. I joyed in the sheer heft of chunky cherub legs. I reveled in little arms lifted for embraces and cries of, "Hold you! Hold You!" And I believe with all my heart you will never be loved by any human, through time immemorial, the way you are loved by your baby or toddler. You are the world. And then the world expands.

And you find yourself staring down a telescoping road of time wondering at the speed of the journey. You stumble over the fork in the road that will be THEIR path. And you gaze forward, imagining.

I am prepared for this day.

I am devastated by this day.

I am overjoyed at this day.

I love who my daughter is becoming and am delighted to see God's grace and shaping in her life. Her stubborn streak infuriates me and comforts me. She will not be blown by every ill wind as her mother has so often been. She is stronger. She is prepared. She is more deeply rooted. She, who, at nearly 18, has never been kissed and does not date. She, who waits on God's perfect person and timing. She, who laughs readily and easily, and loves deeply.

She is ready.

And I? I will attend her and shake out the train of her future as it adorns her; not ready, and yet, not willing to hold her back. Go, my darling girl. Seek God's guidance in everything. Give Him all you are. Remember your gifts come from His hand. I pray His blessing on you. He will give you all you need and perfect his beauty within you.

I love you with my whole heart.

The preceeding photos are used by permission from an enchanting photographer, our dear young friend, Miss Sally Parish. You can contact her here. She is the sweetest young woman and gave us an incredible amount of time shooting "Bo's" photos on location. She is truly gifted and if you are in the Central Valley area of California, I would highly recommend you contact her for any photography work. Thank you, Sally, for the time we spent with you and the lovely way you captured our dear girl. We love you.

Copyright 2009


  1. Simply excellent photos!! Your daughter is stunning!! She will shine in this could she not...she learned how to from you. :)

  2. I hardly know what to say to this. My only hope is that I can live up to what you portray me as. Thank you for guiding me because there is no way I could be the person I am today without the love you gave me throughout all my yesterdays. I am only prepared because you knew where to point me. I am only strong because you conditioned me. I am only deeply rooted because you planted me there. I only laugh because you always try to find the lighter side to everything, and I will always be there for the times you can't. I love you.

    -Hannah (Bo)

  3. Robynn, being the mother of 3 daughters, 23, 21 and 14, I fully understand how you are thinking. Yes I know oh so very well how hard it is to let then go! I truly treasue=red the pics as it brings back joy to me of my own daughters and their senior pictures, She is beautiful!Enjoy, Enjoy!

  4. She is gorgeous!! Sounds like her inside matches the outside. I see that she has left you a comment! OH MY! What a testament to you as her mom.

    Thanks a lot for making me cry!!

  5. What a beautiful daughter you have! You should feel very proud of her accomplishments, you helped! I've been in your shoes, 3 times and each time I've experience the same feelings you are going through.It doe get easier as you see them being successful.

  6. whahhhhhhhh!!!! *crying* that was beautiful!!! ......whahhhhhhh!!! What GORGEOUS photos. The lighting is soooooo good. And Hannah, you are radiant! And the COLORS!! I could go on and on!
    Your comment, Hannah, made mom cry :-) I personally think you could make a song out of that! Record it!

    *sigh* I love you guys xoxoxo

  7. She is so pretty. I love the 7th and the 8th one down the best.
    I would love to use that photographer for family photos.

  8. Oh my. So excited for her! Beautiful pics, and lovely words. She is such a sweetie!

  9. Robynn, your daughter is beautiful! What a lovely location and wonderful shots. Your tribute to your daughter is touching...and hers to you made me cry.

    You raised a wonderful girl!

  10. She is Beautiful! and i just realized i was born and raised in your neck of the woods!!

  11. Oh Robynn.... ... ***sighhh**... How could one NOT be SO proud of your girl. What accomplishments she has achieved -she's beautiful inside AND out. My two favorites are -the one of her from the shoulders up with her looking left and a tree is right behind (all one sees of the tree is the bark) and the other is the one with her standing in the flowers, the sun right on her and it's a profile of her whole left side, but she is looking over her left shoulder straight at the camera and a fence is in the background. Just NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL.
    And then what you had to say an 'older' momma of a toddler, I got all teary, seriously. With our daughter turning 3 in July... I so often pray that she will be happy and have a happy life and KNOW someday just HOW MUCH she is loved.
    ...okay, getting teary again.
    p.s. Oh and the last one... she has a beautiful nose :-)

    p.p.s. NOw I just read what your daughter wrote ... total tears in my eyes. This is what I pray for.
    Blessed you are and for a good reason.

  12. I wonder if you both know how lucky you are to have each other as Mother and daughter. I am sure you are but you, Robynn are incredibly fortunate to have such a poised and well spoken daughter. But you had much to do with it and Hannah, you too are very lucky to have such a dear Mother who has such a witty way with words. You are a lovely girl and are a rare jewel in today's young women. Good job Robynn and Robynn's hubby.

  13. My daughter is still young and as she grows older I find the moments are marked by both joy and sorrow...just as you have stated.

  14. This is sheer poetry, Robynn...And your daughter Hannah is an extremely beautiful young woman! You truly deserve to be very, very proud of her!!! And now I must go find some Kleenex for Hannah's response to your post has given me a thorough case of the sniffles....Blessings to you are incredible women! I feel privileged to have "met" you!

  15. Robynn,
    What a beautiful post today. Your daughter is gorgeous! You are a wonderful mother and "Bo" is blessed to have you!

  16. Oh, your daughter looks so much like you and has your gift for writing. I don't look forward to the day (in 5 years) when my son will be graduating. I understand the bittersweetness you describe even as he grows up and becomes more independent. The photos are outstanding, I had a feeling as I looked through them that they were done by a professional. Blessings to both of you!

  17. Wow! I said before that the pics were beautiful and now I've read the blog and it's all beautiful, including Hannah's post. We are blessed indeed! I for one am glad the fork doesn't not lead far, far away just yet. Bless you and bless Hannah and bless the rest!

  18. Ohhh golly gee how I feel your pain!! All this graduations stuff has just about killed me. I do want Erin to grow into herself, but I also want my little baby back...and I think it makes it worse that she is the oldest, and the only girl, and my dearest friend.

    I love the pictures!!

  19. What a beautiful, loving, touching post and comment from your daughter, and such gorgeous photos of a truly gorgeous young woman!

    As my sons have grown up and left the nest, I have experienced how difficult it is to let our children go and the challenge of our relationships changing from adult-child to adult-adult. I am blessed that into their adulthood and marriages and fatherhood, we have remained close and I am so proud of their lives.

  20. What a beautiful young woman! Your words to and about her are wonderful and her words back to you are no less. My daughter is grown, and now I am watching my grandchildren grow, the oldest is in his first year of college. It isn't easy to let them go, but we do with a tug at our hearts and a little tear in our eye for the times past. May there be sunshine on your days Hannah-Bo, and on the few rainy ones,.. may you have strength and peace!

  21. What a beautiful young woman with the most lovely smiling face.

  22. What an incredible post! Your words are so moving and the photos are stunning! HB is lucky to have such a wonderful mother and she is a beauty!!

  23. She's just beautiful. Looks like you raised a great girl!

  24. This one hit me right in the heart. My oldest will be turning 17 this year and will be a Senior next year.I just can't believe it. I home school and I can't imagine that my time with him will be ending soon. It makes me cry every time I think of it. I have told my friends maybe I will keep him back......not really....but I wish I could.

    Beautiful post...beautiful pictures...beautiful young woman.

  25. You two are just so sweet and loving. And what a gorgeous girl you have helped to blossom!

    Good luck as you go through life, Hannah Bo!

  26. Your daughter looks gorgeous!
    They grow up way too fast, that's true!

  27. She needs to drop a few lbs. Also if you keep her from dating now. she will have sexual hangups in the future. What's wrong with kissing? What's wrong with sex?You religious fanatics are nutzy.
    Making sex a "dirty" thing. Get real. I hope she doesn't go away to college... You are in trouble.

  28. What a beautiful young woman ... inside and outside. You both are blessed.

  29. I'm sorry ... I just read the 'comment' before mine ... how hateful 'anonymous' is ... please remove those ugly words ... there are some real kooks in the world.

  30. Beautiful.... both your gorgeous daughter Bo... and your post. For once speechless... wordless... too full to communicate... Lovely, lovely.
    You Rock, Robynn! XX

  31. What a sweet post for an absolutely gorgeous young woman. The pictures are fantastic. And Hannah's response ... seriously made me teary-eyed. Thanks for letting us share in your journeys.

  32. Thank you all for all your kind comments and for loving us. If you've been reading me for very long you know that I think there are lots of right ways to do right things. The path we've chosen is the one we feel led to travel. Bo thinks, as do we, that warm, loving, healthy relationships are gifts. So she takes them seriously.

    And hello Anonymous, in Rogers, Arkansas: I thank you for stopping by. I'm sorry you saw fit to hide and say mean things but usually people who say mean things feel the NEED to hide. I would love to have an open discussion with you. I'm not a religious fanatic and I welcome healthy debate. Insults and attacks don't create that opportunity. Why does this make you so angry?

    And just so you know, having a moral compass does not make one think sex is "dirty."

  33. Miss Bo is gorgeous, inside and out! You did a wonderful job, Robynn! I had Meagan at 38 and she will soon be 19. I am happy for her but I miss the days when she was little and always under my feet.

  34. Arkansas? Ha, Ha.... Not quite. Yankee here. I am anon. because I don't have a blog. My name is Lena. I am just stating my opinion like you so "righteously" do. When you have a blog it comes with the territory. It's not all sweetness and light. I am here to remind everyone that there is another way. She is brainwashed, IMO. I am surprised you haven't deleted my comment. I must commend you on that..

    I have seen kids who have helicopter homeschooling moms. They have melt downs in college. The worst partiers etc. I hope not in your case. I also think that age 18, it may be time to stop calling her "Bo" and treat her like an adult. Let her have her own mind and make her own decisions and let her DATE. It's healthy... really. You can always adopt a foster child. Let her go....

  35. What a beautiful post. I think you need to write a book Mrs. Reilly. :-)

    A unique aspect of photography is its ability to capture the soul of the subject. Hannah's purity, creativity and joy shines so brightly.

    I love you too, and am so blessed to know you both!

  36. I understand about children growing up, it happens so fast.
    Hannah, I think you are so beautiful and your words to your Mother are so sweet. Just like her words about and to you.
    Good luck in everything you do. I know you will be just fine!!

  37. AMEN,AMEN and again I say AMEN!
    Well said your response to Arkansas Anonymous!
    Behind you 100%, your daughter is lovely and the Lord will be honored and glorified with a Moral Compass that are all in accordance to His ways.
    Your daughters pose in the 3rd to last resting her arms on the rock is very nicely framed.
    And....excuse me.......but give me a break with that lbs. to loose comment...MERCY..if she needs to loose a few then we are all in trouble...for the life of me I can't find the suspected in the pictures anywhere!

  38. Lena! I thank you for stepping up and making yourself "known" as it were. And just as an added help to you, you don't have to have a blog to register a name. I have many readers who don't blog but use their name or a pseudonym. Helps them have an identity. You can even use a photo from your computer if you like.

    I didn't delete your comment because I believe there is always room for discussion and dissension. I have never supposed everyone would see the world through my eyes. I think that would smack of grandiosity. It's true that those who are of the same beliefs and opinions tend to hang out together. And I happen to truly LOVE these people and feel loved by them. We don't all share the same philosophies and viewpoints. But we share hearts.

    I would like to say this if I may (and not "righteously"): You don't know me, or us, and yet you make assumptions about our goals and motivations. Might you refrain from that until you know more? "Bo" is a name I use out here as most everyone uses blog names. It just comes with the territory. But if it WAS a pet name - and she has them as does nearly everyone I love in my life because they are special and dear - that would be okay to most people. Pet names just mean you're loved. I still enjoy hearing the one my family gave me. So youth has nothing to do with it because I'm OLD. :)

    Additionally, she has been at university for two years now, along with homeschooling. She has been exposed to many differing opinions and ideas. She will continue to be. We have always encouraged our kids to be open-minded but not to the point their brains fall out. Questions are part of our quest in life. I think she can hold her own. She won a fullride Presidential scholarship to a non-Christian university. Apparently, THEY saw something quite capable in her, along with her high test scores.

    As far as dating, I will share my philosophy, though I doubt it will sway you. And just so you know, I don't EXPECT to sway you as I'm sure you don't expect to influence me. We are dialoguing and I appreciate it.

    I would not think I could take hungry children, leave them in a donut shop all night, and then dupe myself into thinking they would never touch a thing, just because I said not to. By the same token, I think hormonal teenagers, who may think they are in love every five minutes, may not make the best decisions in the heat of the moment given dark cars and lots of opportunity. And we would NOT think a sexual relationship without commitment and marriage is desirable. I'm sure you feel differently and that is your right. I won't beat you up for having an opposing opinion. Please allow us the same consideration. And you might want to know, now that she is older, she makes this decision on her own. She thinks what she has to offer is worth more than a casual romp in the hay.

    I want to add that I TOTALLY AGREE with you that some kids who have not had good training and have been overly sheltered go CRAZY at school. I've seen it, too. But I've also seen kids from the public school sector do the same thing. I think communication and training are the key, whatever your school choice. I don't hold her hand to cross the street because she knew the rules by five and used good judgement by six. The same is true with her judgement in this matter.

    It is her own now. Our goal for her is not complete independence because that would make her an island and it would teach her to put herself above everyone else. We would have her be interdependent; available to enrich other lives and to be enriched as well; to know the joys of serving others and giving back. Life is sweeter when we all need each other and don't presume our needs supercede those of others.

    As far as fostering, it is not something we can do at this time but something I believe in wholeheartedly and I thank you for suggesting it. My life was saved as a child by a loving foster home. My sister's was extended by one but she took her life at 18. I do not come to my beliefs through naivety.

    As a last word, you are entitled to think what you will about Bo's weight. I do not share your opinion and I think your comments were unkind and cheap. What did she EVER do to you to cause you to try to purposely hurt her? While I am happy to discuss differing viewpoints, I will NEVER understand sheer meanness. It baffles me and I thank GOD for that. I would shudder to think I understood it.

    I am glad you came back. Kudos to you. May we meet again. I wish you well.




  40. Robynn, I have been delayed in blog reading, what I have missed. You are remarkable in your ability to stand your ground and yet still not lose the Christian attitude. Your daughter is beautiful inside and out and a true reflection of her upbringing and her relationship with God and you.

  41. Your daughter is beautiful, and those are some really great pictures!

    I don't want to talk about babies getting bigger though *sniffle*. =)

  42. Hannah-Bo is such a beautiful young woman. I can see a big resemblance to you--especially in the second picture. Sally is a great photographer, also!

    Robynn, I have great respect for how you raised your two. I am just a little envious, I think!

    Hannah-Bo, you've got a good head on your shoulders! God will bless you immeasurably if you stay the course like you have been.

    Blessings to your family.

  43. Oh Robynn, she is a beauty. What a lovely "tribute". I'm sure that Hanna-Bo will be a shining example to others, and that she will be a positive role model to many. Thanks for molding a young women, who I'm sure, will make this world a better place.

  44. She is beautiful, Robyn, and though she is no longer your baby, and will soon enough be making her own mark on this world, the adult relationship to come between you is something to look forward to and cherish.