Cat in the Cradle

Remember that song? Cats in the Cradle.?

I do. And I think of it often as I think about my Dad.

I remember being young and thinking that he just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand how things work. He was all about hard work and acting right. Life lessons, “you could make something of yourself if you just applied yourself.” He was hard on us, never beat us physically, but he could be mentally demanding. He worked hard and made us a very comfortable living, coming from absolutely nothing. No father to speak of since he was 2 or 3 years old. Helping his mother make ends meet while growing up.

He was working full time and going to school full time, even on weekends. If he wasn’t working, he was taking care of things around the house. Always busy. It is amazing to me, that all of this time I had the impression that he was hardly ever around, But as I recently have had time to do some serious reflection on my life, and I do mean SERIOUS, memories start to come back. Some not so good, but some were really good.

He always figured out a way to come to my baseball games, we played catch in the back yard. He came camping with my boy scout troop, every summer we would go on a family vacation. I remember one summer we were driving from the suburbs of Chicago all the way down to Hollywood, Florida. We had a Ford LTD station wagon that my dad took the time to install curtains on all of the back windows so that me and my sisters could be a little more comfortable. He told me later that he did it in hopes that we would sleep more, which I now completely understand.

I used to blame my dad, or my relationship with him for a lot of the problems that I have gone through in my life. Part of that reflection that I had to do in order to get my head straight has shown me that he was not really the cause. He was who he was, he did the best he could with what he knew. He wanted the best for me. He loved me. It just took me way too long to come to that realization. Our relationship was never the perfect father-son relationship, but whose is? I have to take accountability for all of my actions. I have to deal with my problems head on instead of looking for someone or something to blame. Life comes at us like a bullet, it is in learning how to deal with life that we become all that we are supposed to be.

Funny thing is, that is all that my Dad ever wanted of me. For me to hold myself accountable. I see that now. He could have given up on me many years ago because of the things that I had done and because of the person that I was then, but he didn’t. I see now that he was my biggest fan and probably always will be.

As time went by, my Dad changed. We all change, but he started appreciating the little things in life. We always teased him that once he started having grandchildren that he became soft. Well, he did. He had a plaque on his desk that said “If I had known that Grandkids were this great, I would have had them first!”.

Today’s prompt asks us about some meaningful hand-me-downs in our life. I have noticed that a lot of the things that I did not want to become because he was like that, I became. I spent 12 to 14 hours a day away from my family trying to give them a “better life”. I made something of myself and gave them a comfortable living, but at what cost? Recently I hit a bottom and hit it pretty hard, and unfortunately that brings the ones that love you down as well. But we are going to get through it and come out much better on the other side.

My Dad taught me that if you want something in life, you have to work at it. No matter what it is. His legacy to me is that I need to provide for my family, but that does not only mean bringing home a paycheck. I know that now. In the song “Cat’s in the Cradle.” the boy grew up just like his Dad. I hope I do too.

Thanks for the hand-me down Dad!

I added the lyrics to the song below in case you have never heard the song or read the lyrics

 

“Cat’s In The Cradle”

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin’ ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say “I’m gonna be like you, Dad
You know I’m gonna be like you”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home, Dad
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, “Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let’s play
can you teach me to throw”, I said “Not today
I got a lot to do”, he said, “That’s ok
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah
You know I’m gonna be like him”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home, Dad
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then

Well, he came from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
“Son, I’m proud of you, can you sit for a while”
He shook his head and said with a smile
“What I’d really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, Dad
You know we’ll have a good time then

I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job’s a hassle and kids have the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you”

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
When you comin’ home son
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, Dad
We’re gonna have a good time then

About joatmon14

Man in recovery from everything, looking for a little help, inspiration and direction.... Have spent the last 25 years working in big business, getting lost in all the chaos, not feeling like what I did mattered. By no means am I a professional writer nor do I even think I am that good, but it is something I love to do. Getting lost in a world of words, even for just a little while is why I started my blogs. In reality, at the age of 49 I am trying to find my voice. To find my passion. Maybe starting a little late, but better late than never. I write for me, I enjoy reading other's thoughts very much as well and look forward to the day that I can hold an extended, intelligent, meaningful conversation with YOU View all posts by joatmon14

9 responses to “Cat in the Cradle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: