You Have the Freedom to Marry Who You Want (Except Your Brother)

I remember being 4 years old and having someone ask me who I was going to marry. Without a moment of hesitation I told them I was going to marry my brother. All of the people in the room began to laugh and someone piped up with, “Oh honey, you can’t marry your brother. It’s against the law.”

Considering he was the only boy I knew at that age and I thought he was pretty cool; I was crushed. At the age of 4 I already began to picture myself as an old maid living out the rest of my days all alone because the one shot I thought I had at getting married was against the law.

Me at the age of 5 all dressed up in my Mom's wedding dress trying to figure out who I was going to marry!

Me at the age of 5 all dressed up in my Mom’s wedding dress trying to figure out who I was going to marry!

As a mother now to a girl and two boys I wasn’t surprised when my own daughter at the age of 4 declared that she was going to marry one of her brothers (her choice between the two fluctuated week to week) when she grew up. I only smiled and said, “That’s nice dear,” so as not to give her the same complex that I had at that young age. When she was still holding on to the dream of marrying within the family when she started school I decided that I better let her know the truth and I figured at least being in a school full of lots of kids she would see that she had plenty of options besides her own brothers. After I broke the news to her that her dream of her and brother standing at the altar wouldn’t be happening she looked at me and said, “Well, is it okay to marry girls?”

My response: “Ummmm….well….(goodness, I wasn’t expecting this question)…kind of, well, I think right now the only way you can marry a girl is if you go to California. Ummmm…actually, I don’t know if it will always be this way though.”

Since my daughter was only 6 at this point it’s no surprise that she had such a confused look on her face to my answer, shrugged her shoulders and walked away to go play Barbies.

Apparently, my daughter forgot about this conversation we had two years ago because a few weeks ago she asked me the same question, “Mom, can girls marry girls?”

This time around I didn’t need to hem and haw. I didn’t need to think about how I was going to explain this. Our country has made some important decisions concerning gay rights and I don’t think we have to worry about them going away. I think the freedoms for the gay Americans are only going to continue to grow.

I confidently told my daughter, “Yes, yes girls can marry girls if that is what they want to do.”

My daughter smiled and said, “That’s great. I wasn’t sure if it was against the law. I’m glad it’s not because I think I am going to marry (her best friend’s name) when I grow up.”

Of course since my daughter is only 8 years old, she has no idea who she is going to marry or whether it will be a girl or a boy. But even at the age of 8, it is just nice to know you have the freedom to marry whoever brings you the most happiness in your life.

This is my brother that I couldn't marry!

This is my brother that I couldn’t marry!

34 responses

  1. T has friends who are twins and their mom told me that they announced to her one day that when they grow up, they will marry their father! She reminded them that he is already married to her – they just gave her a blank stare. Thankfully T doesn’t seem to be bothered about who to marry yet! (T’s twin friends btw, just turned 3 last May). Dean x

  2. This brings back happy memories of a time that flew by way too quickly !! You are so much better answering touchy questions than I was .. I certainly wasn’t prepared when you popped the question, ” What does Gay mean Mom ? “. You were probably in first grade or second grade and had heard other kids call someone Gay, possibly not even fully realizing themselves what the term meant … but I was all about keeping childhood sweet and innocent for as long as possible … SO .. my answer was HAPPY !! The answer satisfied you and off you went to play Barbies !!

  3. Melissa! This is Brad, your husband’s friend from college. Excellent post, excellent story! When your children are old enough to reason through big adult themes such as this one, direct them to: Ryan Lewis Same Love You Tube. Thanks for brightening my day. Bless you, bless you!

  4. We visited my cousin and her (yes, her) wife last summer. When we left their place, the kids asked “Who’s house was that?” and I answered it belonged to both of them. After a moment’s hesitation they asked “Are they married?” and I answered yes. My daughter (6 at the time) looked a little confused until her older and wiser brother (8) explained: “Yep, girls can marry girls. And boys can marry boys too. It’s all good.” You gotta love total acceptance!

    Thanks for posting this!

    • I am hoping we are raising a generation that does not see differences and accepts everyone! As long as someone isn’t hurting another person I don’t care what they look like or believe and that is what children need to learn as well so we can find peace in this world!

    • Yes, it does show that they love each other and what mom doesn’t want her children to get along! My daughter did use it as a threat sometimes too at that age. She would tell her brother that if he didn’t play Barbies or a certain game with her she wouldn’t marry him!

  5. Nice job, Melissa! My husband’s sister has a wife. Our boy asks questions sometimes. I just apply the logic that they say to apply when answering questions about sex; that is, give simple answers, and don’t volunteer information that they may not be ready for.

  6. What a great story Melissa! I for one am very happy that our daughters (and sons) can marry whomever they want… well, almost! Up until 2 years ago, Emma wanted to marry me!

  7. Just the absolute, absolute best. šŸ™‚ I thought I was going to marry my cousin after I read the Secret Garden in grade 1! Didn’t pan out in the end – short lived (imaginary) betrothal that it was!

    I really is heartening to see the expansion of marriage rights in the US. We’ve had marriage equality here in Canada for 10 years. šŸ™‚

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