This is my family.
My friend/colleague/budding photographer took this photo of us last month, along with several other adorable pictures. I mean, I think any photo of my dogs is adorable. Look at those little faces. I love my little nuggets, and I had really been wanting a family photo for some time now, but it never felt right without a baby.
Because a baby makes a family, right?
That’s what people say when they ask us about having children:
“So, have you thought about starting a family yet?”
“When are you going to start your family?”
“When you have a family of your own …”
“Now you just need to start your family!”
“Wait until you start your family …”
I sometimes feel like I’m kinda in this grey area, where I’m married and I have a mortgage, but I still don’t quite have that family everyone keeps asking me about. I mean, we eat dinner at the table together every night, we go for long walks together on sunny afternoons, we take trips together, and we curl up on the couch to watch TV together every night.
Does that mean we’re still not a family? Isn’t that what families do?
We make big decisions together. We fight. We laugh. We cry. We support one another, and we get excited planning our lives together.
So, are we still not allowed to hang one of those little wooden signs that read “family” on it?
Is the family police going to come and get me for writing this post?
I used to joke with my co-worker saying I better hurry up and have a baby so that I can get some nice photos taken while we’re still young. One day, I jokingly suggested taking family photos with our dogs. They are, after all, our fur babies. She loved the idea and told me she’d been wanting to work more with pets. And even though I pretended like I was joking, deep down, I loved the idea too. I really wanted that picture. It’s hard to take a nice picture of the four of us with a cell phone.
Case and point.
I love the pictures that she took. We had such a nice afternoon together, and the pictures will always be a reminder of that day. I also know they’ll be a reminder of our infertility. But I want that reminder. Because when we do have children, and I believe in my heart that we will one day, we will have some really cute photos to show them of the dogs! Everyone loves the dogs. They really do steal the spotlight. And I know our kids will love them just as much as we do.
So yeah, we took family photos with our dogs. Yeah, some people will probably cringe and make fun of us behind our backs. Some people will probably look at the photos and think about how pitiful we are, how unfulfilled our lives must be. Some people might look at us and be envious of how much time we have on our hands that we managed to schedule a photo shoot with our dogs. (yes, child-free does equal copious amounts of free time. You parents don’t have to worry about reminding us every time we mention having kids. We know. We are very aware of how much time we have on our hands, and how little time we will have when we have children. We know. We still want to have kids.) And some people might look at these photos with a big smile on their face, because, LOOK AT MY DOGS. They’re the cutest, aren’t they?
That’s all we wanted. Have some fun. Make some memories. And take some cute pictures of our family. As is.