When I went to pick Edward up for physical therapy I had a few minutes to wait while they tracked down his class in the computer lab, so I got to look at the completed work hanging outside the room. They are on a fairytale unit and the most recent assignment was to color a tower, fashion a construction paper princess with braided yarn hair and then answer one of the following two questions: "If I were a princess trapped in a tower I would... " or "If I saw a princess trapped in a tower I would... ."
The first one I was read was done by a girl in Edward's class who wrote, "If I were a princess trapped in a tower I would... yell for a prince." I thunked the heel of my hand against my forehead while the Susan B Anthony dollars in my bag spontaneously melted into the shape of a tear. Oh honey, I thought, and wondered if I could drop a hint in Caroline's ear to start preaching her doctrine of Eponine in the schoolyard.
But just as I was mourning the sad entrenchment of perceived gender roles even in this most recent of generations I saw one done by a boy (he of the ill-fated Chuck E. Cheese panic attack birthday party, actually) and hope for the future dawned anew.
He had written (and spelled it all correctly, too, I was very impressed): "If I saw a princess trapped in a tower I would... crochet a trampoline and use it to jump very high to rescue her."
Crochet, people. CROCHET. A world in which a seven year old boy reaches in times of peril not for the sword but the crochet needle? Is one in which I wish to live.
PS Caroline opted to be a rescuer not a rescuee - surprise! - and wrote... well she wrote a lot and it was taped pretty high up and her handwriting is a little obscure so I am not really sure what her plan was. Something to do with pickaxes.
On Edward's sheet he had made a princess and a tower but had written nothing beneath it.
"Edward!" I said. "What's up with your tower? You didn't write anything. What would you do if you saw a princess trapped in a tower?"
"Honestly? I wouldn't want to get involved."