Last Tuesday evening, S and I took Birdie to an outdoor museum of sorts. We walked along the paths with Birdie happily babbling “da da da da da da ba gee” then squeals. It was a very nice evening. The heat and humidity had finally broke after weeks and weeks of miserableness. There was a breeze. It almost felt cold.
We walked past this particular sculpture and this lady was directing her two children to go stand in front of it for a picture. I heard her say “Go stand over by that family.”
It hit me. We are a family. It felt so odd and wonderful to hear a stranger call us a family.
We walked a few steps, and then S turned to me and shyly said “She called us a family!”
He felt it too.
It was seriously one of the happiest moments in my life. I felt so lucky and thankful. Our fertility clinic is less than a mile away from the spot we were standing. Two years ago, I had just had my HSG and we had gotten the bad news about the first semen analysis. Now here we were, walking on this lovely evening, apparently a family.
I don’t mean to imply at all that family = mom + dad + baby. Families come in all shapes and sizes and numbers and configurations. I felt like we were a family before Birdie – just me, S, and the two cats. However, we live in a very conservative, religious area where the idea of family is more rigid and traditional. Is it wrong that it felt surprisingly good to have our little family validated by a typical midwestern conservative woman?