Sunday, May 15, 2005

Cat's Cradle

I remember when I first heard this. It was in reference to a sting game with the hands that my dad played with me. He was good and could make "Jacob's Ladder". He also showed me how to make a "mouse" out of a handkerchief when I waited to have my tonsils out. He was a good and loving dad and always had time for me. I would watch him fix things and help with the yard work. Later I helped him with the janitorial work at our church on Saturdays.

The next time I heard this was in the Song by Cat Steven(?). It struck me because the words told the story, too often true, of a father and son not connecting and having enough time for each other. It was a popular song when our oldest son, Clark went off to college in Santa Barbara. I gave him that record and a note. I felt we hadn't gotten to know each other that well. I was always working at least two jobs and he had his friends etc.

Now I'm hearing it everyday as part of our "musak" we play in the models for the public. It still strikes me a poignant and bitter-sweet. This time it is happening to my son with his son, my second grandson. He is a great dad and spends alot of time with him. He sings to him, reads to him, draws for him and then he has to go off and travel to sell spas. Soren cries. I think he might know how I have felt.

It also reminds me of that book by Shel Silverstine, "The Giving Tree". We as parents want to give our kids everything and keep doing it. It again is a bitter/sweet feeling. It is hard to deny them anything and yet, we have to to be good parents and help them grow and become more independent and self-reliant. Good parenting is "letting go...gradually" all the way from birth to death. We fight it but it is for the best. It is part of being human I guess. If you love someone, set them free. Let them make their own "mistakes". We sure did...and still are. Bob


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