The Cat’s In the Cradle

The Cat’s In the Cradle

 I had no idea how much fun it was going to be watching my kids and the children of my friends grow up. Perhaps I should clarify that statement. It was a blast observing my own children and their peers experiencing the milestones of maturity before they reached adulthood. Today I am referring to observing those same kids choosing life paths as adults.

Not long ago I called a child of a friend for legal advice. She is an attorney now. Last summer I visited with another friend’s child about the challenges facing family practitioners in the medical field. The high school girl I remember is now a busy physician with small children of her own. Another young lady, who should still be in high school, is teaching children in a public school at the elementary level. I have two friends with sons serving as police officers. Those boys are a little like me. It is just a good thing they are not in the backseat of the patrol car.

And then there are friends of mine who passed away before their children reached the point in adulthood where they were ready to begin a career. It is a special privilege to observe those “kids” complete their education and look forward to a rewarding professional life. I feel some level of responsibility to tell them to study hard for an exam. And I feel called to encourage them in their educational endeavors. The older I get the more convinced I am that loyalty to our friends extends to the next generation.

Over the past two weekends I have been made acutely aware that my boys are quickly moving toward being fully educated adults that are ready to take on their own professional goals. Two weeks ago Randall took the entrance examination for law school. Law school is one option he could take after graduation. He has a few others in mind too. This weekend Daniel made his first trip home after leaving for college in August. It is amazing what a few months away can do for a kid. He too will be facing the same kinds of decisions that his older brother is facing before we can blink. It is just a lot of fun watching them at this stage in life. And when they are making their own living, I think it is going to be even better!

Watching kids is a lot of fun, but to be perfectly honest Harry Chapin’s song from 1974 is on my mind this morning.

Well, he came home from college just the other dad.
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 key
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

A word of encouragement to young parents today…. Enjoy your kids. And enjoy the children of your friends too. And someday you too will have the privilege of watching your children and their peers become adult professionals. And…don’t forget that loyalty extends to the next generation.

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