Thursday, August 19, 2010


Interesting conversation in the car yesterday with my 4 1/2 year old.

Out of nowhere (which, incidentally, is where all of these surprising subjects come from), Amanda asks me " girls ONLY marry boys? Or can they marry a girl? Or can a boy marry a boy?"

This one just LOVES keeping me on my toes. I am starting to think that it is no accident that she asks me these questions when it is just the two of us and I am driving us somewhere - she's got me captured, with no way to avoid the question.

So, I did the thing I thought was right...I answered her completely honestly.

"Well..." (choosing my words carefully)

"Usually, a girl marries a boy. BUT, yes, if a girl wants to marry a girl, she can. And if a boy wants to marry a boy, he can."

"REALLY?" she exclaimed. Apparently she loved my answer.

"Mommy, you know what? I think I am going to marry a GIRL!"

Oh boy. (or girl...)

"Well..." (still choosing my words carefully)

"It is up to you, really, BUT, this is not a decision you will be ready to make until you are a grownup. Once you are all grown up, THEN you can decide if you want to marry a boy OR a girl. OR...guess what? You don't even have to get married if you don't want to."

Now she looked bewildered. "I don't?"

"Nope. Not everybody gets married. And not every married couple has kids. Every family is different. You will figure out what family is the best one for you when you are all grown up."

She was quiet for a minute, and then as I looked in the rear-view mirror I saw her smile. Then, the subject quickly changed to Dora and Boots.

I'm hoping I handled her question correctly. I hope that I continue to handle her challenging questions correctly. I am sort of hoping that the default solution will always be to go with the honest answer.

More importantly, I was smiling to myself, pretty pleased that I live in a time (and not to mention in a state!) where my answer CAN be that simple: yes, my dear, you have choices, and you can choose whatever is right for you, whatever is going to make you happy.

Pretty cool, I have to say.