The younger one has just finished her gruelling five year law course and is a full-fledged lawyer. The seminars, presentations, examinations, moot preparations, internships.... she slogged and we empathised. And finally that last paper and she was done!
There were so many times when she would bemoan her choice of profession, more out of moments of frustration when she was tired and overworked. And now that it is all over, she is enjoying a few days of rest before she embarks on her career.
And so I casually asked her would you ever encourage your child to be a lawyer? I thought I knew her answer and was in for a surprise when she said of course I would! She has realised that her classmates who had parent/s who were lawyers had it a lot easier. And she believes that in twenty years or more, her batch mates, seniors, colleagues at work would be established in their field of practice. And wouldn't it be so much of an advantage to send her child to intern/learn from the best?
I suppose that is why we see professions run in some families. An inside look at working conditions, ready made foundation, easy start to a career. And if parents enjoyed their work, it would be an added impetus.
Personally, neither my brothers or I had any inclination to follow my father's footsteps and get into public administration. And in our case, the children did not seem influenced by our choice of careers either. We have varied professions at home. I even find it difficult to explain when someone asks me 'so what does the actuarial analyst do? Well, I know the elder one works hard with excel sheets and numbers that do not seem to end!
But we understand that we cannot insist on the child taking up a particular course of study. My friend the other day was rather distraught that her daughter opted out of medical school. Her mother, like I had too, hoped to be a doctor at one time. It would have been a dream fulfilled through her child. I was also excited for her when she had enrolled for the course. And could share her disappointment at the turn of events. But there was not much that she could do.
Just this afternoon the daughter watched the telecast of an exhibition match at Wimbledon - Henman, Clijsters vs. Agassi and Graf. She said they played well. We wondered, whether the offspring of Agassi-Graf would also play tennis. They would have the best in-house coaches. Would they be world class players? And what pressure they would have to perform!
Well, our children have not had it easy as I said, they have had to carve their future on their own. We are not much help in their chosen professions. However, the younger one says that she has learnt work ethics from us.
I shall always treasure that comment .