A few days ago, I reminded my daughter I planned to snap her photo this morning before she left the house. Why? Because today was her first day of school. Not just school. College. I have photos of her first day of school for every year up to junior high when it became embarrassing that her friends might actually see her mother with a camera at the bus stop (let alone at the bus stop at all!) But even this time, she rolled her eyes.

“You are the world’s biggest sap,” she told me.

“Ummm…hello? Romance writer!” I reminded her. “I’m a sentimental sap and proud of it.”

So, without further ado, I present Then and Now.

Tori, age 5, First Day of Kindergarten 1996

Tori, age 18, First Day of College, 2009

I can’t believe how much she’s changed, and yet, how much she looks the same! If you’ll excuse me now, I need a very large glass of wine and a private place to cry a little…