My son has a girlfriend. They've actually be together for several months, but it is still weird to think about it as if it was normal. Of course, they are only nine. My son knows they are allowed to hang out at recess, talk and give each other a hug, but anything other than that is stuff for more mature relationships. Even so, my son often talks about their future when they will be married one day.

I try to take those conversations seriously (for several reasons). I want my son to know that I am taking his feelings about his girlfriend seriously. I cannot under any circumstances laugh when he sighs forlornly and tells me it has been a tough week because they hardly had any time together at recess due to all the rain.

I am also taking the conversations seriously, because they have exposed what my son thinks about marriage. My husband and I have always hoped that we are setting a good example of a married couple for our son - the way we work as a team, the way we communicate, the way we support each other. But - as parents - we always worry. What is he picking up on? How did one of our not-so-great moments affect him?

The truth is that lots of Americans think that marriage is not a lifestyle choice for them. With so many more options for couples or singles these days, that outlook makes sense. But for me, I need my marriage. I love having my husband at my back and I love that even though we have been together for a very long time, I can still surprise him. We flow well together.

I am not sure that my son will always think about marriage the way he does today. (At this point, I am not even sure how long he will still have a girlfriend.) But I hope that when he has questions about marriage, he will ask. It's good to know all your options in life.

Does your child ever talk about getting married one day? Tell me about it in the comments.

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