Now having a child makes me think an awful lot about family.
What is family? How do we define it? How do our children recognize it? How does something as random as biology compare to the other bonds that we share by choice? For me and mine, I think that all are important. Maybe the ones that we share the most quality time with have the most effect on us, but then again, the lady in the check-out line at the grocery might also wield her influence. Every little interaction makes a ripple, and like they say, it takes a village.
Raising a child is not easy. In fact, I think that if we did not have a biological urge to procreate, far less of us would do it. It takes a certain selflessness that I have not encountered in any other occupation. This being said, like any difficult task at hand, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. The love we give to Ana comes back to us ten-fold. But on the days when she is sick, or we are sick, or work is busy, or life is busy, it is imperative that we have family to fall back on. And while our nearest genetically related relatives are several thousand miles away, we are fortunate for our family of friends, colleagues, Ana's Tias and Tios, caretakers, and even the lady at the grocery that provokes a toothless smile.
...a few photos enjoying time with family at the IMA.