There are many moments during your life as a parent in which you get to feel immeasurable pride for the children your first marriage bore you. Once you and your partner’s schedules lined up and you could reserve time in between getting your enamel sealed with cucumber spring water and applying a Starbucks cold brew coffee enema to conceive two beautiful tax deductions, you knew your life was forever changed. There was the swell of pride when your nanny showed you the video of your children being born. The excitement you felt when your little prodigies were accepted into Wildwood School after your attorney’s associate, Clawhammer, visited the Director of Admission at home. The tears of joy that welled in your eyes watching them drive their matching Teslas to Planned Parenthood the morning after prom, still drunk from the night before.
But there is one moment in a parent’s life that soars above all others, one singular point in time that shakes your inner consciousness with firm, urgent hands, shouting into the face of your soul, assuring you that you will remember this hour, this minute, this second, for the rest of your natural life, and probably for the entirety of your post-life, after your brain is thawed from cryostasis and downloaded into an indestructible android on Mars. That moment, of course, is the day you help your children beat their first murder charge.
Consult any parenting expert and they’ll tell you: One of the most important gifts you can give your children is encouragement. As their brains and emotions develop, kids need to have their feelings of empowerment and self-worth continuously reinforced, or they’ll end up waiting in line and paying full price everywhere they go. I thought I had done enough. Naming my children meaningful but improper nouns (darling Fig and willful Suede), encouraging them to develop their own system of mathematics, and managing their careers as social media influencers made me feel like I was setting them up for a life wherein they never have to doubt or question themselves and never have to feel bad about anything they do. Little did I know, there is no better boost to your children’s self-esteem than the day they realize they are above the law and can literally get away with murder.
Now, helping your children escape punishment for stealing another human life from this planet is no small task, but I’m sure you’ll find, as I did, that it is well worth the effort. The day you walk downstairs into the east garage to discover a rigid corpse lodged in the windshield of your daughter’s 21st birthday present will be the day you get to guarantee the future success of her personal brand with nothing but a blind gardener and a single phone call to your attorney. When the yacht club calls you at 1:35 AM to inform you that your son has just beaten a man to death in the Olympia Lounge, seize the opportunity to give him the future of conducting social experiments on YouTube that he deserves. All it will cost you is another phone call to your lawyer and the fingerprints of any member of your household staff. If a homicide investigator ever knocks on your door—or worse yet, your children are brought to trial—don’t panic! Just text a quick photo of the jury to your attorney, and Clawhammer will make sure there’s an acquittal.
So breathe a sigh of contentment and let your chest swell with pride. Your kids have graduated from childhood and grown into fully self-actualized, well-adjusted adults, thanks to the emotional security and stability of knowing they can do whatever they want all of the time without fear of consequence or reprisal. And guess what? You helped give that to them. Take it from someone who streamed “Teach Your Children” by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young on his iPhone on the way home from the courthouse, and go ahead and shed those tears, proud mamas and papas. You’ve earned them.