I Will Not Be That Guy – Cats In The Cradle

Family Fall DayApologies in advance for a sappy post. You’ve been warned.

If you know anything about me you know that my family is the most important thing in the world to me. I don’t blog about family stuff all that much these days partially because I’m a bad blogger and partially for privacy and security reasons for my kids. I’ve got three boys who mean everything to me. I’ve got a Wife who is so far out of my league it’s not even funny. I’m the luckiest guy on the planet.

We took a walk in the park the other day and I snagged this picture. For just that moment all the bullshit in my life just sort of faded away and I was able to see just how lucky I am. It’s a picture that I don’t want to ever forget. It’s a moment that I want to revel in and stay in. I know I can’t… but I’m going to try.

I often say that I look at my calendar one day at a time because if I look any further into the future I get overwhelmed. That’s absolutely the truth, and quite honestly it scares the hell out of me. 

I ran across a list of Power Ballads, Cult Bands And The Greatest One-Hit Wonders In Heavy Metal And Hard Rock posted by VH1 this morning. I know and love all of the songs on there as I’m a child of the 80s but as I revisited one of those songs for the first time in a long time, one stuck out. It is a song that I’ve got a history with that I won’t go into here, but it’s not the first time I’ve looked at the lyrics and I’m committing to myself and to everyone who reads this, that it won’t be the last.

“Cat’s In The Cradle” – Harry Chapin

Cat's In The Cradle - Harry ChapinMy 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, lemme tell you,
Said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah.
You know I’m gonna be like him.”

Cat's In The Cradle - Ugly Kid JoeAnd 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.”

I will NOT be that guy. I’m busy, but I will NOT be too busy for my kids. I will NOT be too busy for my Wife. I will NOT be too busy to live my life. Life is too short and it’s too precious to waste it.

“Cat’s In The Cradle” has been re-recorded and covered several times over the years most famously by Ugly Kid Joe in 1992. If you’ve never heard it give it a listen. Read the lyrics. Live life. I know I will.

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