I was asked what song impacted my life. I didn’t have to give it much thought because Harry Chapin’s, Cat’s in the Cradle by far topped my list!
The first time I heard Cat’s in the Cradle I was with my brother in our basement. As I listened to the lyrics I thought how heartbreaking for both the father and the son who can’t schedule time to be with each other. I was brought up in a tight knit family where our philosophy was to always put family first. My Dad was offered a promotion when we younger. He sat us down in the living room and asked us what we thought about moving to Chicago. Of course all of us kids cried because our friends and life as we knew it would be left behind. With that in mind, our Dad turned down the promotion to keep us kids happy. I realized the decision my Dad was faced with: promotion vs. quality time with his kids. I am thankful he chose the latter.
In this song the father doesn’t allow quality time with his son because of a career choice. Listen to the lyrics as a warning of what life would be like if you chose a career over your kids and spouse. The recurring verse “I’m gonna be like you Dad, you know I’m gonna be like you” had such an impact on me. It was a heartbreaking twist of roles when the father finally had time for his son, his son no longer had the time for him. Why is it we always learn life’s lessons when it’s too late? How sad it would be to look out your back window when you grow old and see a rusty swing that you never got to push your kid on.
I hope you can learn a lesson from this song too. Enjoy the time with the people you love. Create memories in the sandbox and beyond. With that, I leave you with this song – Maryann