Jack Devine faced a lot in his 32 years of service with the CIA.
Sure, he silently helped win wars and worked with top officials, but he also had to tell his six kids what he did for a living.
Devine recently sat down with Time’s Belinda Luscombe to talk about his new book, Good Hunting. During the interview (watch above), he revealed his strategy -- which he says he “learned the hard way” -- for telling your children you're a spy.So, how did he do it?
I would do it in their early teens, 13-14, with hindsight, is almost the perfect time. They’re not looking at the world in complicated ways. I'd do it in the United States so they don’t run out the next day and tell their friends, ‘You won’t believe what my father does,’ you know? ... I also would try and catch them on a one-on-one occasion. It might take me weeks during the summer but, invariably, one of them would have the bad fortune to ride with me from Washington to the Jersey Sea Shore.”
According to his book's description on Amazon, Devine helped run Charlie Wilson's War against the Soviets in Afghanistan and pushed for the CIA to run down narcotics trafficker Pablo Escobar. He was also in Chile when Salvador Allende fell and "had too much to do with Iran-Contra for his own taste, though he tried to stop it."
Despite his long career tackling some of the world's most intense problems, Devine is still capable of being caught off guard when it comes to being a father. When he told his then-16-year-old daughter about his job, he confessed to being unprepared for her response: “My father is an assassin!"
You can see a longer cut of the interview at Time.