Every now and then I get the rare pleasure of walking my 6 year old daughter to school, just us, no baby strapped to my chest and no 4 yr old, who is either dawdling or bolting (is there nothing in between!?!). But on this crisp sunny morning it was just us girls and my daughter voluntarily grabs my hand. Now this is particularly sweet because I know that at 6 yrs old there aren’t too many days left of this and I just never know when it’s gonna be the last time. So we walk and I appreciate the feel of her hand in mine and the cold clear air on our faces. Out of the quiet my daughter says,
“Mom, someone at school said girls can’t marry girls and that girls can only marry boys. Is that true?"
Now I know I’m feeling all zen and everything, but it's still early, and I’m just realizing that I never drank that coffee I made myself during the morning hurricane of shoes and cereal and toothbrushes. But ok, I got this.
“No, that's not true, girls can marry girls and boys can marry boys. It used to be that only a girl and a boy could get married, but people worked really hard to change the laws because no one should decide who you can marry. Only you should get choose who you want to marry.” Not too bad for 8:30am and no coffee.
"Oh, I think I'll marry a girl then"
"Or maybe a girl and a boy” Did I mention the walk is uphill? A really steep hill. We pretty much live on the side of a freakin mountain.
"Well, the law does say you can only marry one person. But you have lots and lots of time to decide who you want to marry or even if you want to get married at all"
Alright, I’m in a groove, but I gotta wrap this up because we’re at school now and the morning bell is about to ring. But let’s quickly review my first-rate parenting skills. She now knows she can marry a girl or a boy (and I even remembered to add in you can stay single!). She knows that laws can be unjust but people can fight to change them because nobody tells us how to live (Stick It To The Man 101). Clearly all my Women’s Studies classes and life lessons have equipped me to answer these questions with ease and eloquence. School hasn’t even started and I’ve already taught my daughter the most valuable lesson of her day. Really, mother of the year? Why yes thank you, I accept.
I’m suddenly jolted out of my daydream by my daughters incredulous voice. Her face twisted up in a disdainful tween like scowl.
"But Mom, the girls that marry girls will just have just have sooooooooo many babies and nooooooooo money"
Internal face palm. What the…How the…Who the…What the what?!?!
“Ahhhh, that's the bell, ummmm, lots of women have jobs, and ummmmmm stuff”
I can only see her back as she walks into school. Here’s the award back. It was so nice to hold it, if just for a few seconds.
Karen Barré is an accomplished mom of 3 that can make snacks ALL day long and still find the time to make light-sabers out of paper and duct tape. As long as the conditions are perfect. And everyone slept the night. And we have groceries in the house. Or paper. Okay, I did it once, it was a highlight.