Marriage Lives in the Hearts of Children

Sweet Basil DinerThe two lifelong friends chatted in the booth of the Sweet Basil Diner, with their mothers and siblings, anticipating waffles and chocolate chip Mickey Mouse pancakes.

“What should we name our first born?” They agreed on “Bacon.”

In the years they’d known each other they’d gone from wanting a million babies, to hoping for ten, or six, or four. It wasn’t a fixed number. They just knew they wanted babies, and lots of them. They’d discussed what type of business to run, and had even started to plan a honeymoon. Disney World? Permission from the little girl’s father had been asked, but not yet granted. Someday.

The little boy had called her his “life” for as long as the two could converse. He’d made it known early and had never wavered. Of course by “life” he meant “wife”, but what’s the difference? He’d worried she’d meet someone else, she’d worried whether she could get married sooner than eighteen. And so they had planned, still do plan, and plan to plan some more. How could she find anyone better? No one else in the world has called her his “life” since she was three years old.

It breaks my heart to think that even as I write this sweet little story, there are people who would reel at parents entertaining such a notion. They’re so young! What if they don’t marry? That’s not the point; the point is, they know what marriage is.

Some would say that parents should be teaching them about finishing college and dating enough people, or that having lots of children is selfish on this overpopulated planet. Others would shame the parents for promoting patriarchy and misogyny, teaching a boy to be controlling and a girl to sell herself short so she can be a breeding machine. There are even some who would say that such parents teach these kids a false and bigoted idea of marriage, that there is no real inherent difference in a male and female, that marriage is not really about a man and a woman planning to be a mother and a father. Whatever.

No matter what disordered things people say, children know the truth and if that truth is allowed to bloom, they won’t grow up to forget it. Marriage cannot die, for it lives in the hearts of children with mothers and fathers who love them. We don’t always have to win arguments or win court cases. We just have to keep living the truth and teaching it to our children. They’ll take it from there.

Birthday Party

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