When I heard the incredible news that marriage is now legal regardless of gender in the USA, it reminded me of something that occurred to me recently - we are the first generation of parents that can describe marriage exactly as it is, an expression and celebration of the love two people have for each another, regardless of gender and sexuality, without exclusions. (In Wales, England, Scotland and now Ireland and the US at least).
This hit me when my youngest daughter was talking to me about marriage, and declaring that she would like to marry her best friend, who just happens to be a girl. When she said "Mummy? Can girls marry girls?" I stumbled momentarily as I couldn't find the right answer, I think I may forgotten about the changes to the law, it may have taken less than two seconds in reality, but my answer finally came clearly-
"Yes darling, and boys can marry boys, as long as they are adults, and they both want to get married, anyone can marry anyone else".
She seemed happy with this answer, that meant she could marry her best friend when they were old enough. She now wants to marry a boy, but the point is that either way is fine.
This would have been a tricky situation if I had to answer no, I think the following "why?" would have been a lot more difficult to answer in all honesty.
So when I came to reflect on that moment, I realised that I have a huge privilege, I am privileged to have the ability to explain love to my children, and that the celebration of love we call marriage, is now accessible to all, no matter who you are and what gender you happen to be. I am very much of the opinion that people are people, everyone is different and everyone deserves the same chances. So I am honoured to be part of the first generation of parents that are able to explain to our children that gender and sexual preference doesn't dictate whether they can marry the person they fall in love with.
My own feelings on this are somewhat irrelevant since it doesn't affect me personally, but I am proud to live somewhere that allows anyone the chance to express their love in this way should they want to, I feel like it is a very special thing. Plus I LOVE a good wedding, so the more the merrier!
I haven't approached the birds and the bees subject with my children in full yet, although they know parts of it, but when I do this will also be a different discussion to the one my parents had with me, and I look forward to answering "Mummy? Can girls and girls have a baby together?" with a "yes!" too.
So in short the way in which we now describe marriage to children goes something like this-
"When two people love each other they can choose to get married". How lovely?
I think explaining marriage simply in this way to our children is incredible, what do you think? Have you had to answer this question yet?
Originally posted on www.hillsanddaffodils.co.uk
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