Today I am thinking to tell you about love, marriage and children – and their many questions! I do this as I watch and listen to my four-year-old daughter learning more about life!
Apra knows that her parents are married. She has seen photos of Ma and Pa getting married, of the celebration with the guests and of course the beautiful dress. Many of her parents’ friends are married: Thomas and Iris, Sonja and Peter, Michael and Andrea and so on. Even Oma and Opa. There are others, single friends, who always come alone. Obviously, with them this question doesn’t even come up. There is a third type of friend however: those who are not married but in a relationship!
Apra simply assumes that they are married. Veri and Chris were recently here and I told you about their visit. Somehow we reached the topic of weddings and I believe it was then that Apra asked Veri: When did you get marry?
Veri asked that they were, in fact, not married – and for quite a while Apra could just not believe it! She asked three times on the spot whether that was true and confirmed the answer each time with her mother as well, in case Veri and Chris were joking.
The information was repeated however and so she finally asked: why not?
Now we all go and try to explain this four-year-old that one can spend lots of time together, love the other one and still not be married. Then when or why do you marry if it is nearly the same anyway? I always joke and call this time before marriage the relationship’s ‘trial period’! One day you just decide that it is over! Now you can organize a celebration and make it ‘official’ that your relationship will last forever!
Wouldn’t your love be good enough without that certificate? I always told people we were married even before we had signed a paper – because that’s how it felt to me. Try explaining this to a little girl!
She processes whatever information you give her, stores it in her little but so quick mind and connects it with other things she has heard or learned. You feel good about it, too, because you have the feeling that you taught her something special about life, something that really matters. You feel she has understood something important. Additionally you get to say things like ‘You know your Ma and Pa love each other sooooo much!’
And then, hours later, you get a question: ‘Are you sure Veri and Chris are not married?’ 🙂