“I guess dad’s the smartest one in our family,” Adriana said from the backseat. I’m not giving you context for her statement, because I didn’t have any. I thought we were just on our way home from gymnastics class. I’d been half-listening to the kids’ conversation about forward rolls versus somersaults while figuring out what I could do to make dinner for the quickly when we got home.
“Um. Why?” I asked. I wasn’t offended, just curious, but I sort of dreaded her answer. I suspected I knew the answer, and Adriana confirmed it immediately.
“Because he goes to work,” she said. And then she added, “And because he’s an engineer.”
Marveling at how spectacularly I was failing at feminism, I began preparing a speech about different skills, different jobs, different kinds of intelligence, and the value of working hard, when Lyra piped up.
“I don’t think dad is very smart. Not like mama. He doesn’t even know how to make milky!”
I gave my speech anyhow. And then requested Mothers Can Do Anything from the library when we got home.