Too busy for you….

Posted by on June 13, 2012 at 7:01 am.

My daughter and I spend a lot of time together.

Harry Chapin: Cats in the Cradle

Sometimes, making time for my daughter, means putting things I enjoy doing on hold. I’m fine with that…

One of my pleasures has always been gaming. These days, I’m not doing that, since it takes too much time. I usually have gaming time during the cooler months, when I’m not as busy. My daughter is in school, and if my clients work is completed, I’ll play games for an hour, sometimes two.

When my daughter is around the free time I have is usually spent hanging with her. Being that I’m an early riser (usually up by 3:30 or 4:00) I use that to my advantage and work on my clients projects. I do the same, after she goes to sleep in the evenings. In doing so, it means I have time to spend with her when she awakens. This is especially important since she’s now off for summer break.

I ask my daughter a lot of questions, listen to what she has to say, and tell her often she can tell me anything. While I might not always agree with her choices, I’ll always be there to listen, keep my mouth shut, and think before I respond.  Sometimes she tells me things that I don’t want to hear and on occasion, some of those things involve me, ouch! But when I think about what she says, most of the time I realize she has every right to feel that way, I apologize, and I work on ways to make improvements. Parents aren’t perfect, its important to apologize when we do something wrong. Children remember, as a child, I know I did…

No time for you

When I worked in the corporate world, one of my bosses (that I reported directly too) was the executive vice-president of four divisions. Her children didn’t have time for her. They were grown, living their own lives, and rarely included her. They tossed her in the “I’m too busy for you corner.” It hurt her, since she desperately wanted a relationship with them.

It was kind of sad, but she did create the situation. When her children were young, the sacrifices she made, usually meant less time with her family. She’d told me, that looking back she wished she did things a bit differently.

Occasionally I think about her, and wonder if her children gave her a chance to become part of their lives. Sometimes adult children hold on to past hurts; and while we might be justified in doing so. It’s certainly not helping us heal (emotionally).

Parents aren’t the only ones guilty of not having enough time. Anyone can, if they’re not careful. It’s important to make time for those we care about.

Cats in the Cradle; Did you know

Cats in the cradle, is one of my favorite songs by Harry Chapin. I liked this video since it showed a clip of his wife, she wrote the poem, and their son Josh. His wife said, Harry made an effort to put her poem to music after their son was born; a smart move since that was an extremely popular song. Harry was killed in a car accident when he was thirty-eight years old.

Harry Chapin: Cats in the Cradle

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 talkin’ ‘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 on the moon
When you comin’ home dad?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
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
And 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 on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

Well, he came home 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 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 on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son
You know we’ll have a good time then

I’ve long since retired, 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 can find the time
You see my new job’s a hassle and kids have 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 on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then dad
You know we’ll have a good time then

8 Comments

  • DragonLady says:

    I’ve been purposely giving my son my attention when he comes to talk to me. And I make my daughter go shopping with me on the weekends (bribing her with sushi) to spend some time with her. I used to take them both out on the weekends just window shopping when they were little. Those were fun times. 🙂
    DragonLady recently posted..Meeting goals

    [Reply]

    Opal Reply:

    Thant’s great @DragonLady, It can take some effort, but it’s so important. I’m unsure why I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately but it’s spilling over onto my blog. 😉
    Children grow up so quickly, my daughter knows to bring me back to reality if I ever get wrapped up in something. She rarely has to do that though. 😉
    Opal recently posted..Crochet and knitting: Tying up loose ends; knitting in rounds with circular knitting needles

    [Reply]

  • Jennifer says:

    This song gets me every time! It certainly says a lot and is very emotional!
    Jennifer recently posted..Jasmine Oolong Tea from Driftwood Tea

    [Reply]

    Opal Reply:

    Me too @Jennifer, It’s usually playing in my head when things get busy. Perhaps that’s why I’m thinking about it. I’m making sure I keep my daughter at the top of my schedule, even though recently my schedule has been hectic.
    Opal recently posted..Father’s day, cable needles, and my 300th post

    [Reply]

  • teeni says:

    This song has always made me a little sad. But it is a good reminder for parents. I just wanted to tell you that I agree with you 100% that it is very important to be able to admit mistakes and to be able to apologize to your child. I can’t stress that enough. I’ve seen relatives who just had the mindset that the adults are always right and the children are always wrong. As a result, the adults never apologized to children for things, didn’t teach them that it is a human trait to make mistakes, instilled false expectations in them and basically ruined their adult relationships with their children because of it. I have to say how proud I am of my niece who is so honest with her children, is not afraid to apologize to them or explain things to them in ways they can understand, rather than shutting them out simply because they are children (as if they were a lower life form). I can see how wonderful that method is working with her kids and what lovely people they are and are going to be.

    [Reply]

    Opal Reply:

    I agree @teeni, Not only with your children but others too. I didn’t hear “I’m sorry, too much from my parents (especially my mom) however, as I got older, I realized that I had to let the hurt I felt over that go. So yes, we have a lot of talks, not only am I her parent. I’m also her friend. Some parents don’t feel that’s possible, being your child’s friend. My mother felt that way…

    I do realize that parents aren’t perfect, there are many things I appreciate about my parents, and so I focus on that.
    Opal recently posted..Cat’s in the Cradle; Ricky Skaggs version

    [Reply]

  • beth nagle says:

    Thanks for this. It really hits home.

    [Reply]

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

CommentLuv badge