Monday, June 27, 2011

Answering the tough questions

My wife and I just recently celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary. I hesitate to say this, for fear of losing my “Man’s Man Card”, but I still feel like I am on my honeymoon. I am not like many of the sitcoms we watch, I love my wife and every day is a joy and I am a blessed man.

Throughout our marriage, we’ve been intentional about explaining to our children the love associated with a healthy marriage. Our hope is that one day our children will grow up and find that perfect person that will make every day of the rest of their lives happy and fulfilled.

However, to children of a certain age, marriage is a foreign concept.

“Why are you and mommy married?” he recently asked me.

“ Because we love each other and wanted to spend every day with each other,” I responded, full of confidence.

“Every day with a girl?” he asked with a tone that suggested surprise and disgust.

After a little discussion, it was clear that he needed a timeline of how this all happened. My wife explained to him that I was born and then she was born. Now that I think about that conversation, she did put a fairly significant emphasis on the fact that I was born first, but I digress. Then she explained we went to school (a stage he is about to enter), went to college, met, fell in love and got married.

He continued to ask about when he and his sister came into the picture. In an effort to explain how we would prefer it happen, we communicated that you get married, and after you are married you can have children.

Now at this point I am getting a little nervous. Surely he is not going to ask the “How did I get here” question and if so, I am totally not prepared for it. I could feel my stomach tighten and little beads of sweat form on my brow.

To my relief, he went a completely different direction. Tucker, the family dog, and a part of our family, happened to be sitting on his lap during this conversation. And while my wife explained the process of getting married in order to have children, he asked the most obvious question in his little five year old mind, “When did Tucker’s mommy and daddy get married?”


Leave it to the five year old to ask the difficult questions. We went on to explain that only people get married and that children are born out of love. That is when he said the words that make my heart warm, “I love you.” The ideal ending to a potentially challenging conversation and it was navigated perfectly by my wife.

When I look over the last seven years of my life, it hasn’t been all easy, but it has been perfect and I have travelled it with my soul mate. And as a result, when those difficult questions do finally arrive, “Daddy, how did I get here?” I know exactly how to handle them . . . “Go ask you mommy.” Happy anniversary babe!

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