When her sister was in the hospital (for her appendectomy), the 6 year-old stayed with me while dad spent the night at the hospital. She was extremely understanding and well-behaved. So, in a moment of weakness I decided to be Julia Roberts in the movie Step mom, except that instead of “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough,” I would play “I say a Little Prayer,” and we’d have a deep connection through the joy of that song. The right time happened after dinner. I showed her a youtube video, figuring she won’t be able to tell the dinner table in the video is from a wedding scene (the movie My Best Friend’s Wedding). She started bopping and said:
“Aw are you going to have a wedding some day? Really BB. When are you going to marry dad?”
Never child. Have you seen the divorce stats lately?
Then I had a profound thought that only a child psychologist could ever come up with. There must be a reason she keeps asking this question. She must want a semblance of family and stability. I just needed to ask my why safely enough for her to tell me what I already knew. See what I mean? Deep, man.
Me: “Why sweetie?”
Child: “Well because you can dance and dad will give you a long kiss, like Todd and mom.” Her mom was getting married in ten days.
All the more reason for my not wanting to get married, child. I refuse to be like your mom.
Me: “We dance and kiss anyway.”
Child: “Well, so you can get a ring.”
Me: “I can get a ring without being married.”
Child: “Actually, because I want you to wear a poofy gown and I want to wear high heels.”
Just a dress, a ring, some shoes, and a kiss will do. Sometimes it’s as simple as a Disney fantasy. There’s no damage, no lacking, no profound issues so prevalent in the adult imagination.