From Canadian Bar Association National Magazine, December 1999.
Last summer, my wee boy Morgan (he's 7) took a week long Highland dancing camp. Wore a kilt (he's used to seeing his Dad in one) — he really went to the camp because there was a supersoaker waterfight at the end of every day.
Well after school started he said he wanted to wear his kilt to class. I said Morgan, are you sure? He said yes. I rolled up a pair of pants and stuck them in his backpack, just in case you get cold, Morgan.
Figured a learning moment was about to happen. It did. After school, tears. They made me cry, Dad. Made me sad. Made fun of me. Older boys lifted it up with sticks. Laughed at me. More tears. Morgan, what should I do? Don't know. Tell those boys off? Don't know. Minutes go by. How about I wear my kind to school tomorrow? Yes Dad I'd be proud for that.
When the van doors opened, the older two children took off like you-know-what out of you-know-where. But Morgan held me tight, as if I was the one to be embarrassed, but he'd protect me.
The playground mêlée stopped like a video freeze-frame. For ten full seconds, everyone stared as if a Martian had landed. Morgan looked at them, then me. A soccer ball bounced by in slow motion. I chased it. The video restarted.
Went to class too. Got asked (French school) if I spoke any English? Could I sing/dance? Did both (badly).
Was Morgan proud? His face would've lit the darkest lighthouse on the stormiest day, yet still melt butter from a cold fridge. At 7 years old now, I know he'll remember that day at 77, when I won't be here to.
For me, that's what being a lawyer is. Being proud to be a lawyer. Telling someone you're a lawyer, being proud of the good we do as lawyers. Proud to be who we are, what we do. Proud. Because of Morgan. Because of us.