Love is Simple to a Toddler

This week the United States Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is legal in the United States. My wife and I are staunch supporters of gay rights, and are beyond thrilled with the decision. There have been a lot of wonderful articles about this decision written by people a lot smarter than me. So, this isn’t really about that. This is about the conversation we tried to have with our three year old about the topic, and the simple way she interpreted it all.

After we got her from daycare, we went to get frozen yogurt with rainbow sprinkles (What do you want from me? We’re dirty twirling hippies at heart). My wife and I wanted to explain what had happened in a toddler digestible way. So my wife explained to our daughter that it was now completely legal in this country for two people in love to get married. It didn’t matter if they were a girl and a boy, a boy and a boy, or a girl and a girl.

My daughter didn’t really understand this, and we didn’t expect her to. We just wanted to talk about it with her. As far as she was concerned marriage was a completely foreign concept, and far less interesting than whatever happened on Doc McStuffins today (Spoiler Alert: Bubble Monkey has paste inside of him, and can’t blow bubbles). The part I found most endearing about the whole thing was her definition of love in the first place. She told us that she knew Mommy and Daddy loved her because we read her stories at night and sang to her.

That was it. We did things she enjoyed just to see her happy, and that was love to her. Obviously, we do far more than that. Still, at a base level, she’s right. As adults we complicate it, like we complicate most things. However, maybe it’s that simple. Find someone you love, and do things that make them happy. Enjoy each others company, and don’t worry so much about all the surrounding distractions.

I’ve written about the extremes of toddler emotions before. There is no grey area or nuance. They treat love with the same simplicity. They don’t place limits, and they don’t care about social repercussions. They just feel how they feel. Adult interaction is more complicated, and it should be on some level. Still, we we would do well to remember that sometimes life is simple.

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