Friday, August 3, 2007

Cat's in the Cradle

Have you ever heard of Harry Chapin? If you haven't, then you're not alone. I've never heard of him until I searched for the song "Cat's in the Cradle." The lyrics really moved me but I've never really listened to the song until I took the time to know more about it. The first time I learned about it, I thought it was a poem. My husband knew about it from a rock group called "Ugly Kid Joe."

Cat's in the Cradle's lyrics was written by Sandy, Harry Chapin's wife after their son was born. I don't know if it has any connection with their family life but I feel that the song is a good reminder for us parents and would-be parents to really know about our priorities in life.

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 talking '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 in the moon.
"When you coming 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 dimmmed,
Said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah.
You know I'm gonna be like him."

How many parents missed their kids many firsts? First smile, first word, first step? Promises that were broken because there were far more important things to do?

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 he said with a smile,
"What I'd really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys.
See you later. Can I have them please?"

How would you feel then when you have all the time to spend with your child but he no longer has time to spend with you?

I've long since retired and 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 could find the time.
You see, my new job's a hassle, and the kid's got 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 coming home, son?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then, dad.
You know we'll have a good time then."

There are some things in life that you can never go back to again. Our kids will never be kids forever. Before you know it, you are no longer the hero in your child's eyes and he'll consider other things and activities more important than spending time with you. Don't wait before it's too late. Don't let the busyness of your work put your family to the sidelines. Expensive toys can never replace your presence and guidance in your child's life.

5 comments:

zunnur said...

I've never listened to this song before, but the lyrics are great, true and so touching.

Every child behaves differently, and their cute behaviour change fast as they grow up. I like to enjoy every stage as they grow, because it happens only once.

"Expensive toys can never replace your presence and guidance in your child's life" - I totally agree to this, I noticed that my children are happier to play with me using any old toys rather than play by themselves with new expensive ones.

Kim said...

I used to have the original record...it was one of my favourites .......great lyrics :)

FOOTPRINTS (aka ourfootprints aka Annita) said...

I've never listened to this song either but the lyrics have made me to think again. as parents sometimes we are so caught up in life and forget the 'real priorites' are. I totally agree that children dont need expensive toys - they need our presence as long as they're still under our wings ^_^

Have a good Sunday.

morinn said...

very touching lyrics... it almost made me cry... the story is so very true... and it happens almost all the time.

Vish..! said...

you are right dear "Expensive toys can never replace your presence and guidance in your child's life".. in earlier days, here in Kerala(its in India) children were taken cared by grand moms and they even tell them stories, recite rhymes etc.. that helped the growth of the child. Now a days nuclear family have everything except happiness and a grand mom...

that Xtra personal care is what the child needs..