What I Answered
A few days ago, my four year-old daughter asked me a fairly straightforward question. She asked:
Why do people get married?
I suspect that in a lot of homes that would be an easy question to answer: "Before mommy and daddy got married they were just going steady. Then they loved each other very much and wanted to have a baby, so they got married..."
But for me it was tricky.
- I didn't want to restrict it to heterosexual couples;
- I didn't want to explain it as a setting for having children;
- I didn't want to romanticize it; but
- I had to keep it simple; my daughter has a surprisingly high intolerance for any conversations about tax policy.
"Some people decide they want to have just one sweetie for a long time so they get married. But you can have just one sweetie for your whole life and not be married, and there are a lot of people who are a family and have a baby and love each other but never get married."
And then, after a few minutes (and a conversation about why I was not playing a CD (the disc player in my car is broken) but we were listening to music on the radio instead), my daughter asked me:
What is radio?