Every day counts

June 20, 2010 — 1 Comment

Sometimes I find myself really enjoying the music and beat of a song without really paying much attention to the words. In his Father’s Day message today, my pastor referenced the lyrics of the popular song “Cat’s in the Cradle.” That’s one of those songs that I’ve heard many times over yet never really took the time to hear the message.

Cat’s in the Cradle
by Harry and Mary Chapin

A 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 dimmed,
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 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.”

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?”

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.”

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.”

Life is precious. Time is fleeting. Every day counts. As a father myself, I pray that I will be the kind of role model that I’ll be glad for my children to follow. If you’re a dad reading this and aren’t exactly proud of the example you’ve been, I encourage you to take some time to reach out to your children and decide to make the most of whatever time and opportunities you have left. You can’t turn back time, and words can’t undo any damage that’s been done. But every day counts.

One never knows what tomorrow holds.

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One response to Every day counts

  1. 
    Marilyn Riordan June 21, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    I have thought about the words to this song many times. With Larry being such a work-a-holic it was always a challenge for him to spend time with the girls individually and with me. We used to have one-on-one dates with the girls, and that worked out very well but had to be “planned into the schedule.” Sarah’s message on Father’s Day was very sweet: “Although you’re no longer here on Earth, thanks Dad for all you did for me! I never EVER wondered if I was loved. I’ll see you again someday, but until then, Happy Father’s Day, and I love you!”

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