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.
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.