What would you do for your children? Friday I turned on BravoTV at 8 am to take a break from reality. I have watched news clips almost continually since seeing the Haitian earthquake first hit the news while I was in line at the grocery. I tend to see a lot of news on those little televisions over the cash register line.
BravoTV was showing the end of season four of The West Wing which is where President Barlett’s youngest daughter Zoey is kidnapped. In the same episode, Toby Ziegler’s ex-wife gives birth to twins and he is the father. The juxtapositioning of a father in pain over the well-being of his daughter and a father questioning if he will be a good parent has never failed to amaze me. The writers of this episode were/are amazing!
Below is some of the script from this episode. I am particularly struck by Will saying: “Of the President temporarily handing over power to his political enemy?
I think it’s a fairly stunning act of patriotism. And a fairly ordinary
act of fatherhood.”
We all know about those ordinary acts of parenting – the call to pick up a sick child at school or university, the request to pick up a child from a party where things are getting out of hand, the request to help a child out with expenses until they find a job, the search for the perfect preschool or school.
Then, Toby – fresh from a visit to his newborn twins at the hospital – puts it all in perspective. What you may ask does he put in perspective? He puts words to that live changing moment when you become a parent. He does so by saying, “And if somebody was hurting them, I’d drop napalm on Yellowstone to get
them to stop. Letting some prisoners out of jail wouldn’t be nothing and
I’ve known my kids for about forty-five minutes.”
So tell me about that pivotal moment when you realized that being a parent had changed everything in your life – the way you look at snow, the roads outside, the neighborhood bully, your spouse or significant other.So tell me about that pivotal moment when you realized that being a parent had changed everything in your life – the way you look at snow, the roads outside, the neighborhood bully, your spouse or significant other.
And, just to put it in perspective, I did try to find the clip of this on YouTube but couldn’t find it. If someone sees it, let me know and I will put the video clip up. Instead, I have included the piece of the script below. The script is the property of NBC, not me.
LEO He's invoking the 25th Amendment. He's invoking twenty-five. JOSH Really? LEO Yes. C.J. Is his mind made up? LEO He's with the Cabinet now. Where did everyone come down? C.J. Josh and I were on the fence. We don't know what Will thinks? WILL Of the President temporarily handing over power to his political enemy? I think it's a fairly stunning act of patriotism. And a fairly ordinary act of fatherhood. LEO Yeah, I do too. TOBY (approaching) Hey! (panting) The President's gotta get out of the West Wing. I don't know what we've been thinking� LEO Why are you out of breath? TOBY I ran here very fast and there were some obstacles. LEO The babies are okay? TOBY Yeah, they're great. And if somebody was hurting them, I'd drop napalm on Yellowstone to get them to stop. Letting some prisoners out of jail wouldn't be nothing and I've known my kids for about forty-five minutes.