If I have a kid, I want her to play the trumpet. Or the bass. (Traditional, six-foot-tall bass, obviously.) The flute sucks, the clarinet’s mine, the sax locks you out of a millennium of beautiful works, the tuba and percussion relegate you to the slow lane, and the french horn looks too much like pancakes.
The trumpet can be brash or holy, or both; doesn’t require that financial drain, reeds; is operable in all sorts of precipitation; withstands accidental beatings fairly well; and, most important, is musically flexible. Classical, jazz, rock, military, Gypsy, Balkan, Klezmer — the possibilities are endless, without the drudge-based K-12 repertoire of a similarly-situated instrument like the trombone.
The bass is just the essence of life, and fits the second sentence of the previous paragraph, too. No instrument, including my own, is so heart-wrenching, so arousing, so angry, so quiet, so permeating as the bass.