I spend a lot of time around kids and I love how curious and inquisitive their minds are, always taking in and processing loads of new information daily, shaping the way they view the world.
Recently, I was playing the classic board game of Life with a few children that I watch on occasion. At a certain point in the game, the player must get married, placing a plastic figure next to their own into their car game-piece.
I spun the number wheel, the arrow pointing to the spaces I would move my piece along the board. I landed on the marriage space and grabbed a pink figure to put next to mine.
“You can’t do that,” they exclaimed at once, “you’re a girl, you have to choose a blue boy piece!”
The kids looked at me with concern for taking a pink one as I disregarded their mistrust in me for breaking the rules of the game.
I responded with a quiet confidence and assuredness, “You can marry whoever you want,” I said, “It doesn’t matter if they are a boy or a girl. What matters is that you love them and they love you.”
As the words left my mouth, they were met with a collective agreement and understanding from the kids. We continued to play the game, the two pink pieces in my car staying in place with no question or argument.
I’ve found myself in similar situations before; asked by kids who I will marry, if I have a boyfriend, or who I live with. I’ve been met with the awkward glance from a parent, as if the following response would be long, difficult or confusing. But, much like I did while playing the game of Life, I respond with something short and simple.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or uncomfortable. It doesn’t require a lot. It’s an explanation that love is love.
It’s really that simple.