8-Year-Old: "When I Grow Up, I Don't Think I'll Get Married. I Think I'll Just Get Some Sperm."


A startling example which shows how the choices of adults influence the perceptions and expectations of children:

A couple of years ago, my daughter and I were playing the classic board game "Life," and her little car reached the roadblock at which everybody -- absolutely everybody -- gets married.

Needless to say, given a new set of striking statistics last week that showed a record low of 51% of American adults are married, "Life" was designed many decades ago. The study by the Pew Research Center further found that 40% of births these days are to unmarried mothers, and a similar percentage of Americans say marriage is becoming obsolete.

My daughter Liliana, who was 8 when we were playing the board game, tossed off this remark as she stuck the tiny blue husband pin into her car: "When I grow up, I don't think I'll get married. I think I'll just get some sperm."

How we reap what we sow! Liliana was old enough to know the story of her own origins, and it goes like this: When I turned 39, still single, I resolved to become a mother on my own and bought eight vials of donor sperm. But then I met her father, Sprax, and he agreed to help me have a baby the old-fashioned way. We went through many ups and downs, even splitting up for a couple of years, but finally realized that we loved each other, got back together and went on to have her baby brother. When Liliana was almost 4, we got married.

So there I was -- the former single mother by choice, the typical Massachusetts type who deeply believes that there are a hundred great ways to make a family and that life can also be wonderful without one -- and I found myself responding to my daughter: "That would be fine if you just get some sperm, sweetheart, but you know, being married is actually really nice, too." -- CNN