Life’s Little Things

My four-year-old daughter talks incessantly of getting married

"Mammy, when I am a grown-up, will you help me find a Daddy?” It was news to me that my husband had resigned his position and we would need to begin searching for his replacement. Probing further I discovered my daughter was requesting assistance in finding herself a husband. I considered asking her to give me this request in writing to brandish at her when she brings home a suspicious looking boyfriend or candidate for lifelong partner; but I imagine that she will deny ever having requested my assistance in such a delicate matter.

My daughter is all of four years old, so despite the fact that St Valentine’s Day is looming, thankfully there’s no immediate rush to find her Mr Right. She talks incessantly of getting married. She has heard her fair share of fairy tales and seen an array of Disney princesses and heroes meet with their happy ever after endings, but she has never attended a wedding or been party to real life wedding conversations. Perhaps the relationships she sees around her, for the most part healthy and happy, increase her desire for wedded bliss? I highly doubt it.

She was unaware her parents had ever had a wedding day and expressed astonishment that I had worn a pretty dress even once in my life. Her feelings about marriage seem to run deeper than the influence of a few cartoons and fairy stories; she seems to be genetically predisposed towards marriage. She was in raptures to find communion dresses appearing in the local shops and showed me the chosen frock for her wedding day. When she hears a particularly beautiful or emotive piece of music she tells me she wants this at her wedding as she walks down the aisle. She also informed me that it’s ok to cry at your wedding because you can cry with happiness.

Where is she getting these specifics? Not from her Godmother that is for certain. This successful world-wise young woman tells me in no uncertain terms that she will be encouraging, nay insisting, that her charge will be a well-formed individual first and foremost, before she will countenance supporting her quest for early marriage. I am glad to have an ally in my corner planting the seeds of investment in personal development and fulfilment as her first priority.

I am pro-marriage but had no interest in planning a wedding day until it became a reality. My daughter it seems will have everything worked out long before poor unsuspecting Mr Right dares to pop his head above the parapet.

The latest instalment in her plans came when she asked me if she could marry her brother. I explained that marrying someone meant asking them to become your partner and a member of your family. Since her brother was already part of her family there was little point to marrying him. She nodded wisely and then asked if she could marry a girl instead? Before I had time to formulate a response she answered her own question, “I suppose you can marry whoever you want, but I want to marry a Daddy and have my own children”. She seemed to have it all figured out so I chose to save that particular discussion for another day.

All is not lost however, as I asked her if she still wants to be a vet or a doctor? An emphatic “oh yes” left me buoyed and cheerful, “but only after I get married!” Time to call the Godmother and say a silent prayer that she remains blissfully unaware of St Valentine’s Day for another year.