Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Who We Marry.


The other day Henry asked me some questions: Why do people get married? Who do people marry? You married Daddy, can I marry you? Or can I marry Daddy?

I explained to him that some people get married, and that some people choose not to get married. We talked about marriage and about how people marry who they love- who they want to spend their days with. I said something about having a partner to go through life with, to share the good times and the bad, someone to laugh with and joke with and eat sandwiches and share ice cream sundaes with. We kept it simple- in a couple of sentences I just told Henry that he can marry whoever he wants. Some people marry men, some people marry women. It's all in who you love.

Later that night I thought more about that short conversation. I thought about how interesting it is, to be teaching my child that we love who we want. We marry who we want. If you love someone of the same sex, then you love someone of the same sex. That's just who you are and it is no different than if you were to love someone of the opposite sex. And it's not like my parents ever taught me that being gay is wrong, but there was a "norm" there. There wasn't any hate taught in our house; we just weren't ever around anything other than what was seen as a "traditional" relationship and in effect that simply was just not part of our culture. Boys and girls. This is the way it was.

So I think about growing up and hearing something totally different. Having the norm be LOVE and whatever that means to you. To understand that no matter who you are, what you like, who you love...you are safe in our home and we will accept you for always.

One big wish for our children is that they are always able to be who they are, and feel comfortable being that person. I hope that by giving them a safe place at home to practice that, they will feel confident in standing up for themselves and what they believe in outside of our home as well. So now as I look at our two boys, playing and laughing and giggling and smiling, and I think to myself how much I love these little people...whoever these little people turn out to be.

xoxo

28 comments:

  1. I really LOVE this! Thank you for sharing. We have the exact same opinion about this. If we all would teach our children this, the world would be such a nicer place!

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  2. It's such a different conversation from when we were growing up. I had a similar conversation with my son too and I love that we can just say "be with who you want, boy or girl." Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I've been thinking about this lately. A while back I was sitting with some friends and our collective kids, and someone said, "Oh, little Jenny can marry little Adam! Awww!" And someone else said, "Wait, little Jenny can marry little Sophie!"

    It caught all of us off guard, a little, because even though we all believe that relationships don't have to be hetero, we were raised being told the traditional: girl marries boy. Boy marries girl. End of story.

    It feels like navigating (kind of?) uncharted territory as a parent for me, personally. Especially when it comes to things like how we talk about this around our extended family members who ARE very traditional and religious. Do we make this a "thing"? Overlook what grandma and grandpa say and then have our own talks back at home? I don't know. We have a little while before these conversations begin, but I have a feeling that it will all be upon us before we know it.

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  4. Your kids are so lucky to have you as their mama, Dani. This is beautiful! Something you might be interested in sharing is the Flamingo Rampant book club kickstarter.

    They're creating LGBTQ positive books featuring children in all kinds of families. Additionally, half of the characters "will be black, Latin@, Indigenous, First Nations, Asian/Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and mixed-race people" instead of just having one liners. The stories are going to be positive and celebratory, and feature kids doing normal kid stuff, not just dealing with bullying, which is what most of the children's books featuring LGBTQ kids handle. (It's in its final day today.)

    Valuing diversity & acceptance are such an amazing gift we can give our children. Thank you for sharing how you're living that out <3

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  5. i stumbled across your blog and happy i did. great words of wisdom...we definitely live in a different society that what our parents did and we as parents will come come across different teachings for our little ones. anyhow, i cant wait to explore the rest of your blog! ~ashley

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  6. Very sweet, I think it's so important to be a home without hate, what a gift to teach your children. My brother is gay so my children will always know that we can love whomever we choose to, I feel that if the right attitude comes from the home it will be so much better for their own future happiness. A lovely post to share x

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  7. This is really lovely. :) You're such a great mom and it's really lovely to see it! Thanks for sharing.

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  8. This is amazing. I nanny a three year old boy and he has asked about marriage and being a daddy before and I have stressed the same thing, along with his parents, that he will be an adult one day and love someone very much. It's never about loving a girl, just someone. This generation of children have the capability and tools to be the most understanding group of young people that the world has ever seen. It's exciting.

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  9. Love this so much, when we have kids we're going to teach them the same thing :)

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  10. This is such a nice post. It's also nice to think that we get to raise our kids in a much more open environment when it comes to love because of the progress of civil rights.

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  11. I love this post and agree 100%!

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  12. Aww, this makes me so happy! I definitely remember my brother and I saying at that age that we were going to marry each other, hahahaha.

    Cat
    http://oddlylovely.com

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  13. awww.. great post! Brought me smiles and tears!

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  14. This is beautiful! I love how you explained it to him, such great words--in both explaining it to him and the rest of this post. Have a great week!

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  15. it doesnt matter who you marry, i am glad you teaching your son

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  16. This is such a lovely post and I think you did well in explaining it to him x
    www.missenchanting.co.uk

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  17. This is fantastic, but the concept of 'you can love anyone' is even more than gender though that is one. I come from a small village in England and I am in a multi-racial relationship. Something my mum was forbidden from when she was growing up and something my Nana would never had even considered. You CAN love anyone and I think is fantastic that you are teaching that in your household - now if only every other household could teach and foster their children in that kind of acceptance! Much love, Isabelle xxx

    http://www.little-isabelle.blogspot.com

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  18. Yes, yes, yes to all of this! Love is love.

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  19. This is my favorite blog post I've read this week :) My husband and I aren't foreseeing kids for another 8 or so years, but we want to assure them that we will welcome whomever they bring home to meet us. Girl, boy, black, white, brown, no-legged, three-legged...just as long as they treat our child right. We don't want them believing love is wrong or shameful.

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  20. Thank you for sharing this post, it's one of my favourites I've read this week. Your words are so wise and I think you explain it perfectly. Love is the most important thing!

    http://abranchofholly.blogspot.co.uk/

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  21. Love it. Love it all. You explained it very well. Bec x
    www.dancingthroughsunday.typepad.com

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  22. Such a beautiful post. Love is just love and its gorgeous that you are raising your children on that message. If only every parent did how wonderful the world would be

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  23. What a lovely way of explaining love and marriage. :)

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  24. This was an interesting read. I know you are not alone in sharing these same thoughts to your curious children. I normally don't comment on posts, but yours struck something within me, and I feel as if I need to share. I am an early childhood education professional and have spend years around children and continue to do so. I want you to know I have respect for all of God's children, no matter what color, shape, size, or sexuality preference. God placed man and woman here on earth with the purpose for them to become like Him. To inhabit the earth (take advantage of it's resources) and to multiply and replenish the earth (to fulfill the measure of it's creation). Two men cannot reproduce. Neither can two women. I realize not everyone has the ability to marry, reproduce, or even want to. I respect their decision. "Love" has multiple meanings and young children (especially in the imaginative play stage) have difficulty understanding abstract ideas. You may say "I love you" a hundred times in a day, and they may learn that's what you say to be nice let a child know you care for them. That is the definition of love that children consistently see and practice. When children are taught about adult love, it is an abstract idea, as they already have an idea of what it is (when mom & dad show or tell it to their kids). When a child asks "I love my dog mom. Can I marry him? But I love him!" you're probably going to respond loving with a negative response because your child is simply confused. This is exactly why young children say their going to grow up and marry mom or dad. It's simply developmental (and cute too!), and in most cases, parents of the current generation respond with too much information for their child's maturity level. I like how you stated your response to Henry's question was brief, maybe only a few sentences. That's perfect for young children. However, too much information will only confuse them instead of making them more intellectual. Age-appropriateness is important in all things. More times than not it's okay to say to yourself "my child really doesn't NEED to know this information right now. Perhaps when they're a little older". I'm glad you are teaching tolerance at such a young age to your kids.

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  25. Dani, this is so lovely. I recently had the same talk with Addy, giving the exact same sentiments. Sending you love, my mommy pal! xo

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