If you need to find pictures of me, you'll have to troll the internet. Instagram, obviously. Facebook, yeah, but they're probably superold pics when I still had brown hair. You can even look on Getty, though good luck actually finding me and not just someone else named Rebecca Brown (perks of having the most common name). Where you won't find pictures of me, however, is stashed in a drawer from family holiday cards past, or even from birth/pregnancy/engagement announcements. And when you come over to my house, though you won't, because I live in the 'burbs, where you absolutely will not find them is hanging on a wall somewhere.
Shy? No. Judgmental? Oh, for sure, but that's neither here nor there. So why, then, haven't my husband and I posed for birth/pregnancy/engagement announcements and the like? The short answer is we have no time for all that. The long answer is muddy. A thick broth based in honest confusion (why would people want pictures of us in the mail?), punctuated by laziness and lack of time. Then there's the sending-photos-of-yourself-in-the-mail-requires-stamps thing. And you don't want to get me started on the drudgery of finding places to buy stamps.
If you need to find pictures of me, you'll have to troll the internet.
But this year, I look in the mirror and I don't recognise myself. I'm a mom now. Baby girl is 9 months. And you know what I did three months ago? I bought the family — even the dog — matching family pajamas. They were unreasonably expensive in that we are not pajama people. These will be worn for the photo and likely never seen again.
Where photos of just my husband and me celebrating life's various milestones felt easy to dismiss (though wins like finding an apartment in Palo Alto that's only twice my paycheck instead of four times it does certainly warrant some ceremony!), I'm certain I want to do it now. I want us to take family photos. In matching pajamas.
When my husband and I FaceTime our respective parents to show them their granddaughter picking up a sippy cup with her fingers or yanking on the dog's tail and giggling like a cartoon, they smile widely, showing every single tooth. So perhaps when we slip on our stiff fair isle PJs this upcoming weekend and awkwardly pose for photos, the conviction I have about this decision is because there's no question in my mind who the photos are really for. Who they were always for. They're for the grandparents. For my parents, for my husband's.
And for that I'll get stamps.