lundi, septembre 19, 2005

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.
So I said:

"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?