I have to share a conversation I had with Graham – 4.5 years old – last night. Over his plate of chicken nuggets.
Graham: “Mom, let’s pretend that you’re a girl and I’m a girl so we can get married.”
Me: “First of all, I am a girl, so we don’t have to pretend that I am. Second, why do we both have to be girls to get married?”
Graham: “Because sometimes it’s a girl and a girl. And sometimes it’s a boy and a boy. That’s just the way life is, Mom.”
Me: “Oh yeah?”
Me: “Who’s been talking to you about this?”
Graham: “Sophie” [another preschooler friend of his, quite precocious I might add ]
Graham: “I talk to Sophie and Greta a lot. They know a lot about life.”
The end. I was slayed. We moved on. It was no big deal for Graham. He’s still the age where he thinks he can marry his mom, so there’s clearly no need to go into the adult-world complications of marriage and relationships and who gets to do what and who deems what OK and not OK. There were no emotions coloring this conversation. Graham is ruled by a word of black and white. Emotions really only surface when it is a question of fairness or basic human need. Today for him the facts are simple – sometimes it is a girl and a girl. And sometimes it is a boy and a boy.
Because that’s just the way life is.