My girl has grown so much. I will never forget that first day Lily ever went to school. She got up early and dressed herself, excited and apprehensive to be taking the bus all by herself to go to school. I insisted on photographing her on this momentous day, an act which saved me from breaking down into tears at seeing my girl leave the house on her own for the first time. I love and treasure that picture of her. I could see in her tiny frame so much determination, so many conflicting emotions all kept just under the surface. As I finished photographing her, she quietly turned around, stepped off the terrace, and took her first steps toward independence and into the world beyond my embrace.