Yesterday Thalia raced through the door after school, far happier than she was when she came home last week. (And by the way, your advice and consolation in comments meant the world. Thank you. I’m happy to say she’s recovered quite nicely and has a shiny new friendship bracelet to show for it, courtesy of last year’s teacher.)
“L said he wants to marry me!” she exclaimed, describing one of the boys in her class.
A reminder: Thalia is four.
“Wow, that sounds very interesting, sweetie. How did that make you feel?”
“And what does it mean to get married?”
“Um…it means you’re married then you have a baby.”
“Yes, that is often true. But some people get married and don’t have babies. And some people have babies but don’t get married – like me and daddy. And some people wait a looooong time to get married. Like 30 years.”
“Well we’re going to get married. In Spain. And his brother is going to marry Sage.”
“I DON’T WANT TO GET MARRIED,” Sage shouted from the other room.
I’m not going to go all ragey feminist on Thalia and I don’t want to dampen her excitement, but still, I want to make sure her happiness is about about getting attention from a friend, and not necessarily attention from a boy. I want her to feel good about herself whether or not a boy wants to marry her – or a girl invites her to a party. Or gives her a friendship bracelet, for that matter. You know, all that stuff that we swear we’ll say to our girls when we first have them, only to discover that it’s way tougher when you’re presented with the actual opportunity to do so.
But also, I remember how we played marriage back when I was a kid in the 16th century. I remember dressing up in my mom’s wedding headdress or whatever that thing is called. (Veil. That’s it.) I’m sure it’s normal and healthy and fine and dandy in all sorts of ways. Although I’m fairly certain I was 8 and not 4. Ack.
I AM NOT READY FOR THIS.
To make matters more complicated, Nate brought home the original Snow White DVD last night and I had to explain why Snow White ran away and hid when the prince jumped the wall because she didn’t think she was worthy of his attention, and why the queen thought that a woman who was pretty should be killed, and why in the world Snow White was cleaning up after all those dirty old dwarfs.
Fortunately it was bedtime at that point in the movie, buying me another 24 hours to come up with answers. I might even be willing to pay the late fees for an extra day.