My daughter’s latest career aspirations came to light over the weekend when my husband, kids and I attended my close friend’s birthday dinner at a semi-traditional Turkish restaurant; I say “semi-traditional” because their kids’ menu included pizza and chicken fingers, which I do not believe qualify as Turkish fare. You do, however, sit on comfy cushions at low tables to eat, and they serve delicious Middle Eastern food, like kebobs (hello! yum!) for us grown-ups.
They also have a belly dancer. My Ballerina was entranced from the first twitch of this woman’s hips. By the end of the evening, Ballerina was serenely mirroring the “dance belly’s” moves. She refused to leave the restaurant before the dance belly finished her set, and Ballerina has since shown off the sways, swishes and gyrations (toddler-version) of her chosen future profession to any who will observe. We do not allow tipping, thank you very much.
While this development challenges my husband’s sensibilities, it doesn’t compare, in my mind, to the conversation to which I was privy on the way home tonight from preschool. Things to know – Bear is 4, Ballerina is 3, Gabbie is a new girl in Bear’s classroom and Tyler is a little girl in Ballerina’s classroom. On with the replay:
Bear: Mom! I played with Gabbie today all day! She is my friend already, and I’m going to marry her.
Ballerina: What about me?
Bear: I can’t marry you. Brothers in a family can’t marry sisters.
Ballerina: But I want to marry you.
Bear: I’m marrying Gabbie. What boys at school do you want to marry?
(Thus commenced a thorough discussion of the relative merits of every boy in each of their classrooms. Finally…)
Bear: Okay, I’ll let you marry Evan.
Ballerina: Okay. I’ll marry Evan. And I’ll marry Tyler, too.
Bear: You can’t marry Tyler. She’s a girl. You can’t marry a girl.
Ballerina: I’m going to marry both Evan and Tyler.
Bear: That’s so cool! You’ll be two mommies and a daddy! I’ll let you do that.
Let’s recap. Based on this past weekend and tonight, my children’s future includes belly dancing, misogyny, patriarchy, dangerous proximity to incest and polygamy.
Winning! (Off to get a glass of wine…)