This is a conversation, more or less precisely, that I just had with my daughter, Zoe.
Zoe: Daddy! Daddy! I need to get married!
(Bear in mind, she’s only four)
Zoe: Yes, I need to get married. Who can I get married to?
Alex: How about Harriet? (she’s one of our cats)
Zoe: You can’t marry a cat, silly!
Alex: How about Fluffy Bumble? (one of Zoe’s Grandmother’s dogs)
Zoe: No, Daddy! You can’t marry a cat or a dog. You can only marry persons. I can only marry a boy. Who can I get married to?
Alex: Umm.. how about.. Zach? (A preschool friend)
Zoe: No. I don’t like him.
Alex: Hmm. How about Javier? (A preschool person. Friend would be overstating it, but I was searching for boys she knew)
Zoe: No. He’s naughty. I can’t marry a naughty person.
Alex: How about Hamish? (Son of some Church friends of ours)
Zoe: No, he hit me on the head today. I can’t marry someone who hits me on the head.
Alex: How about Ben? (The Church Minister’s son)
Zoe: No, he wants to marry someone else.
(This may, or may not be news to Ben’s parents. Then again, at one point Ben wanted to be a Mermaid, so anything’s possible)
Alex: How about Jordan? (Son of a different pair of Church parents)
Zoe: No. He doesn’t talk to me.
Alex: (becoming somewhat exasperated) How about Craig? (Craig is the Youth Minister’s son. He’s in his early teens and has babysat Zoe and James previously)
Zoe: No! He’s much too old!
(Wow. Over the hill before you hit thirteen. That’s a sobering thought.)
Alex: How about… we wait a few years before you decide to get married?
Zoe: Yes. I think that would be good.
Right. That’s one crisis averted, at least for now. Plus, it’s got my wedding day reception speech half written!