Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Every Father's Worst Nightmare
Something terrible happened to me this morning. I was in the kitchen, the smell of coffee just reaching my nose, the pre-warmed cup cradled in my hands as I let the dog out and tried, once again, to figure out how I was going to be ready to walk out the door in 30 minutes without making everybody late.
My 14-year old daughter, up early for once, was playing her sister's Nintendo DS, making distracted conversation with me as I focused on my cup and she on her electronic toy, each waking up in our own way.
And then she said the thing no father ever wants to hear. I knew, with the Elliot Spitzer incident, that there'd been been a lot of talk about this particular profession in the news, news which we don't think reaches our distracted kids' ears but undoubtedly seeps in like unseen pollutants.
As she played along on her Phoenix Wright game, she said those words that still haunt me. She said, "Dad. I think I know what I want to do for a job when I get older."
I have trouble even writing about what she said next, but I have to get it out, before it eats me up inside. Here goes...
She said she wants to be a pros... a pros...
I know. The humanity. My wife would call it hubris.
I did take some solace in what she said next, though, which she didn't hear from me: "It just looks like they have it made in the shade. The judges always believe them and they don't have to work as hard on their cases."
You see, that's what makes it so hard. It's obvious I've instilled values in her, an ability to see the truth, but she wants to "give in to the dark side" already.
If I hadn't spent the last seven years as a public defender, I'd have to change my will.