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The Column - June 17, 2021

FATHER'S DAY

“Cat’s in the Cradle”
by Harry Chapin

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 dimmed
Said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah
You know I’m gonna be like him”

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?”

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, dad?” “I don’t know when
But we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then”

Father’s Day is a chance to not only show our fathers that we appreciate them, but for fathers to appreciate their children. The lyrics of this song have always been a reminder to me, as a father and a son, to not live my life for the future but embrace the present. Our children are our future and the greatest gift we can give them is our time and our love. Hold on tight while you can so, as they grow, your only regret will be time having passed too quickly! Regret, in the wrong parts of your life, is tough to repair.

WORDS OF FREEDOM

June 19th, otherwise known as Juneteenth, is Independence Day of a different order. This date marks the celebration of freedoms for so many impacted by the dark chapter of slavery in our country. The recognition of this holiday is best described by Coretta Scott King:

“Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.”

Happy Juneteenth everyone!

 

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