Harry Chapin…Cats in the Cradle and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Road trip the other day, satellite radio…listening to Cats in the Cradle with its famous lyrics of reaping what you sow and what is it you want to reap in life? Are you planting the right things today for what you want to harvest tomorrow?

I always felt sad for the father in this song who wasted his child’s life. The dad spent all his time working or doing other things, things he wanted to do, instead of paying attention to his son and enjoying precious moments with him.

I was, and am, thankful for every moment our parents spent absolutely goofing off with us. There were chores, there were rebellions, (I’m a redhead) and there were screaming battles and fights between us three children so close in age. I know that, but what I choose to remember is the fun. Ohmigosh, did we have fun.

We played badminton over the clothes line—usually when Mom’s clean laundry was not drying on it. We wanted to play tennis, so Dad plowed and scraped and packed part of the old hay field and we had a tennis court. When we were done with that, it became a field again.

We had challenging croquet matches (Dad was usually the winner) and spent time lying on our backs in the yard so Dad could challenge us with, “What does that cloud look like? And that one?” Mom taught us to play card games and Scrabble (she massacred us every time) and made sure we had books to read.

Did we have money? Not much extra. But there was always enough food, always enough clothing. We never wanted for “stuff.” But more than any of those things, we had our parents’ attention.

With them gone too long now, isn’t it great that we kids choose to remember the happiness and not the typical gripes and grievances of being kids and having parents making it up as they went along the way most parents do? Isn’t it great to have memories of our folks being active in our lives versus vying for attention against a parent distracted by things?

I’m grateful this Thanksgiving for what our parents gave us: unconditional love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

25 Responses

  1. Sushmita
    | Reply

    Rose Mary, firstly want to thank you for sharing your amazing memories with us and also wishing you Happy Thanksgiving! I am not aware of the song but will check it out. Happy Thanksgiving weekend dear!
    Sushmita recently posted..Sharing Fundamentals of how to handle your Startup Finances?My Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      You are too young, Sushmita, to have heard Harry first hand, but he’s well worth looking up and listening to. He was an amazing songwriter.

  2. Jeri
    | Reply

    The highlight of Thanksgiving at my parents’ house used to be when my grandpa Red would get a poker game going after dinner. He was a fun guy in so many ways. I was always the youngest and would hang out underneath the table because everyone would “accidentally” drop quarters and dimes on the floor as they played.
    Jeri recently posted..#LitChat: A Monster’s Sticky Books by Candy KormanMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Ah, Jeri! You had a good game going on your own, didn’t you? Grandpa Red–as a redhead, I love him already!

  3. Jeannette Paladino
    | Reply

    I can relate to the fights with your siblings. I always fought with my brothers when we were kids. But then we grew up and became very close. I’m glad for the happy times, especially, when one of my brothers died quite suddenly a couple of years ago. So I’m thankful for the time I had with him, and I’m very thankful for all my blessings.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted..Be Thankful to Our Veterans by Giving Them JobsMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Jeannette, maybe we need those childhood battles to get it all out of the way so that as adults we can lean on each other. And laugh. A lot. I’m glad that you had happy times with your brothers, especially the one who passed away. I like your post about our Veterans.

  4. Phoenicia
    | Reply

    Happy Thanksgiving Rose Mary! What a fun childhood you had. Your parents seemed down to earth. I recall having a lot of fun as a child – how carefree life is when young.

    We celebrated Thanksgiving at our church last Sunday. Church members were given the opportunity to give thanks for the blessings in 2016. It was a wonderful occasion.
    Phoenicia recently posted..Where there is a will, there is a way!My Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Phoenicia, I love that Thanksgiving gets celebrated in its many ways around the world. One more great way to bring us together as people rather than separate us by whatever.

      In your photos, it looks like you are doing your best to have fun childhoods for your kids. My parents were so humorous that we were bound to wind up with more good memories than bad.

  5. William Rusho
    | Reply

    I always felt sorry for the kid. The father as they say, reaped what he sowed.
    He ignored his son, and hence his son will ignore him.
    It is important we appreciate our family, I had the best parents in the world, and I miss them every minute of every day.
    It is a time to be thankful for what we have, and had.
    William Rusho recently posted..Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame; more than a disgrace, its disgusting!My Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Me, too, William. On both sides of things, the son missed out. I’m glad that you and I both had the best parents we could have. That is a treasure to always be remembered.

  6. Tatia
    | Reply

    Hi Rose. Stopping by from Bloggers Helping Bloggers on LinkedIn. Thanks for sharing a timely and thoughtful post with Thanksgiving tomorrow! I remember Cats in the Cradle being played on the local classic radio station repeatedly. What struck me about the song was the sincerity of the lyrics when talking about the family. With that loving relationship, how could you not want to keep those warm memories close to heart?
    Tatia recently posted..The Inbound CrowdMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      I’m a long-time member of BHB, Tatia, welcome to the group! The best group of bloggers out there!
      You are right about keeping family close–not just at holidays, but always. Life is too short.

  7. lenie
    | Reply

    Rose Mary, once again you hit the right note. My childhood was very much like yours – no extra money but lots of extra love.
    Thanks for sharing this and have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled mostly with laughter as you reminisce.
    lenie recently posted..Remembrance Day: Sacrifices Never ForgottenMy Profile

  8. Susan cooper
    | Reply

    Hi Rose, your childhood sounds a lot like mine. What good times we had. Even looking back at the sibling tiffs now is a source of laughter. Family is everything. 🙂
    Susan cooper recently posted..Publication Process Workflow for Blogging Books: #Cookbooks #MemoirsMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Oh yes, Susan! When I read your book, Lessons from an Ordinary Childhood, I could sure identify with your stories.
      My siblings and cousins (oh, throw in the aunts and uncles) have so many running jokes that we never stop laughing! Including making fun of each other for childhood spats!

  9. Marquita Herald
    | Reply

    Such wonderful memories Rose Mary! I hope you have a wonderful (safe and warm!) Thanksgiving holiday weekend my friend. 🙂
    Marquita Herald recently posted..Raise Your Hand if You’re TryingMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      I wish the same for you, Marquita! Hope you see that snow you were looking forward to.

  10. Doreen Pendgracs
    | Reply

    Wonderful post, Rose. I, too, love that song by Harry Chapin. He was one of my favourite songsters. I envy you coming from a larger family. There was just me and my brother, and he is about 7 years older than me so we had little in common (and still do.) With parents long gone, I REALLY miss the love of a family.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted..a visit to Cailler Chocolate in BrocMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      My husband’s only sibling is also 7 years older. I’m lucky he has been accepting of (and accepted by) my family. With over a dozen first cousins just on dad’s side of the family, he has a lot to contend with. HA!

      I was remiss in not digging out an old print of Harry. My college beau got us 6th or 7th row seats to Chapin’s one man show. It was memorable!

  11. jennrigard
    | Reply

    This is exactly what I needed to read this morning. I miss them so very much.

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      I’m glad that you needed it, but of course I never like making you sad. I miss them, too.

  12. Joy
    | Reply

    What lovely memories! I’m glad you had such special people in your life. 🙂

  13. Ken Dowell
    | Reply

    Cats in the Cradle is for me one of the most personally influential songs I know of. It was always playing in my head when I faced work pressures to travel more or spend more time in the office. When I passed up on a late night of working then going out drinking with colleagues it was playing in my head as I took the train home to have dinner with my family. The line that stayed with me beyond all others was “He learned to walk while I was away.”
    Ken Dowell recently posted..Boondoggle in the Meadowlands: Pt. 3 – They Forgot to Put Fan Experience on the AgendaMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      I am SO glad to hear that, Ken. All these decades, I wondered how many parents (or aunts and uncles) were influenced to behave differently with their children because of Chapin’s words.

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