My mother recently asked what He'en might like for her birthday. Feeling quite cheerfully smug, I whipped out my Magic Phone, activated the Memo app, and rattled off the list that I've been keeping thereon.
When I got to "Tea Set or Similar Pretending Toys," my diplomatic mother paused and delicately posed the question, "Now, are you sure you are good with her having a tea set or, er, a pretend kitchen stove, or things like that?"
This brought me up short. Well, of course little He'en could play with a tea set! But then I realized that this question was justifiably loaded. I had been quite a stinker about waving the Women Can Do Anything banner in my teens and twenties. I also probably had been quite a stinker during the same timeframe about my mother's choice to be a stay-at-home-mom.
Now that I've checked out of the rat race to spend my own days cutting sandwiches into triangles and stringing Cheerios onto necklaces, I have a completely different perspective . . . and here proffer public apology to my mother, who was a terrific SAHM.
So I mused over her question and concluded that, yes, I was OK with He'en playing with a tea set. After all, as I told Mom, I spent nearly ten years playing with my Little Lawyer Activity Kit and found it sadly wanting:
One (1) law diploma
One (1) bar admission card
One (1) very heavy desk
Forty-two (42) partially-written letters, briefs, and motions
Two (2) computers
For all this, you pay only $140,000. Expansion items in the same set, sold separately, include:
Crazy Opposing Counsel Talking Doll: threatens sanctions when you pull a string in its back!
Grumpy Judge Action Figure: lifts and lowers a magazine during hearings and repeats, "Denied."
Assorted Business Cards
I know every generation needs to find its own way. But since I've been asked my opinion, I'll say, for the love of God, yes, please buy my daughter a tea set.