Lena has never been particularly motivated by school and school work, but she just brought home a straight-A report card and I am so happy! I want to do something nice for her, but I want her to understand from that not simply that I commend this particular behavior, totally awesome as it may be. I want my message to be: diligence proffers rewards. I feel good about that message: it seems unassailable, plus delivering it gives me the pleasure of doing something special for Lena. So, I start to wonder what she would most enjoy. Dinner at a favorite restaurant? A clothes-shopping junket? Some plain-old cash?
I had just visited a sex store with my boyfriend, which I partly did because Lena dreams of owning a store like that when she is older, and of running an educational program under its auspices. Lena is no stranger to the world of sexual paraphernalia—this I know because she periodically mentions sex toys that she has heard of.
She is not unhappy when I mention that I would like to take her out for dinner. She does not brush aside my offer to take her clothes shopping. But I know her to have an extreme level of curiosity about sex, and I want her to be happy in a way that leaves an impression. We had spoken a few times of the two sex stores on the same block of our nearest large metropolitan area and of her wish to visit them with a friend. I find myself cautiously asking her if she might enjoy going there with me. She cautiously replies that yes, she might like to do that. The next day, she confirms with a poorly suppressed grin that she would dare to go to a sex store with her mother. I enjoy returning a less-poorly-suppressed grin, and we set a date.