Graceful and I were talking the other day. Actually, Graceful was talking and I was not getting a word in edgewise.
(To my mother: Yes, I know. I know.)
Graceful somehow got onto the topic of marriage. Here is her list of requirements for her husband, in the order she presented them to me:
1. He must not smoke.
2. He cannot be allergic to animals.
3. He has to like animals, since Graceful plans to have a house full of assorted creatures great and small. Possibly a barn full too.
4. He'd better like children because she wants four. Girls. And their names are picked out already.
I pointed out to Graceful that she can't choose whether she has boys or girls. She acknowledged this truth and said that for right now she just thinks having four girls would be fun.
After another moment of thought, Graceful asked if it was possible to have a baby without a husband.
At that moment, there were any number of ways I could have answered her. I could have said yes, I could have said no. I could be like a mother I know who has told her children that one must be married to have children, just as one must be married to have sex.
(Mmm hmm, right. I also happen to know that this particular mother most certainly did not wait until marriage or even until she had met her future husband, but that's another story.)
I answered honestly. "Well, technically no, you don't have to be married. But, in general, it's a good idea."
Me, "Because being a parent is hard work and it's a good thing to have someone to help you with the job."
Graceful, "That's smart. I think I'll wait until I'm married."
Well thank goodness for that.