This morning I was sat looking at my rather gorgeous 16 year old Daughter (of course I am biased, she's mine!) when it struck me that when I was her age I had been going out with her Dad for nearly a year.To my knowledge she hasn't got a boyfriend currently and isn't considering getting married anytime soon. However, it got me thinking at what age is the right age to get married, is there a perfect time?
I had just turned Twenty when I tied the knot with my OH and I must confess that many of our guests assumed that I was either (a) pregnant (b) stupid or (c) both of the above. I wasn't pregnant, or stupid, after all twenty two years and two kids later we are still together, but looking back I can understand why many were concerned that getting married so young was a mistake.
My OH was my first proper boyfriend, I met him when I was 15 and he was 19 and I know it sounds corny, but I knew that I would end up marrying him. of course he was oblivious to all of this and had his eye on one of my friends if memory serves me correct. But I digress.
When we announced that we were getting married some two years after we had become engaged you would have thought that people would have been used to the idea, after all we had at this point been a couple for four years. Yet there were still folk that tried to tell me that we were too young, that we didn't know our own minds and that we should wait for another couple of years. Obviously, being headstrong (Pig headed my OH would say) I knew that getting married was the right decision for me.
I have friends that have married later in life, the last one being 36 the next one being 43 and one of them often says that she couldn't imagine being married at twenty and not being able to enjoy her youth. For some reason she thinks that because I was married I didn't enjoy my youth or growing up. In fact I enjoyed it just fine, yes there were tough times, but who doesn't have tough times. No I didn't have loads of boyfriends but I don't think this is a disadvantage.
What I did have was the security of knowing that I followed my heart and that I always had the support of my OH no matter what life threw at us (financial hardships and a miscarriage at 20 weeks to name but two) and we did all of the other stuff like getting drunk and making a fool of yourself too, just together.
So is there a perfect age to tie the knot, I don't think so. You know when the time is right whether you have known someone for 1 day or ten years if you have faith and trust in yourself you will know if he or she is the one you want to share the rest of your days with.
I know that there will be people out there balking at the thought of getting married so young, and that's their prerogative, after all one size doesn't and shouldn't fit all, right? And they're probably asking "What if one of your Daughters wanted to get married so young? I bet you'd change your tune then wouldn't you?" All I can say is that I hope that I have brought them up to know their own minds and to trust their instincts.
One of my motto's in life is go with your gut instinct, because 9 times out of 10 it will be the right decision.
Of course I would have my reservations what Mother wouldn't? But, I hope that I would support them in every way that I could. But who is anyone to tell you that you are too young to know that you have met the love of your life? I want my girls to experience falling in love, even if it means that they will have their hearts broken and I want them to know that sometimes fairy tales do happen. Maybe not like in the movies, but everyday fairy tales like me and their Dad, still together after all these years despite the critics and the doubters.
I don't regret getting married so young, it has been great having the person that I love the most sharing every experience with me. I don't have a single adult memory that doesn't include my OH. Some may think that's scary but I wouldn't change it for a moment.
(and yes I do feel like telling the doubters I told you so on every anniversary... but I don't)