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The Cat Who Still lies in the Cradle

She should NOT be so utterly appalled.  Or upset.  The fact that her ex husband – lets just call him Toilet Boy – gave her 17 year old child absolutely nothing for his birthday should seriously not be a surprise at all.  It certainly wasn’t something out of the ordinary to the child; he knows his father well.  He came home from his birthday dinner (a 99 cent taco) with his arms filled high;  filled with Toilet Boys 30 year old clothes, that is.  “Look, this is my birthday gift from Dad, he was cleaning out his closet.”  Mom looked at the stained, torn, out of style clothes and gritted her teeth.  Why does this sort of thing upset her so much? After all, she should be used to it, the child certainly is.

“Did Dad offer to help out with a car for you?  And school?  Is he planning on helping you with an apartment off at school when you turn 18? Books?  Food?  And medical insurance? Still nothing?  Gosh, that’s a shame considering he’s refusing to help out with college tuition and all.”  This kind of thing has been going on for this child’s entire life and personally, it makes all single mothers want to throw up.  What is going on here?

For one – Toilet boy HATES  and I am not exaggerating, HATES the fact that he has to pay child support.  He resents the child’s mother and honestly, I think he resents his child as well.  Toilet Boy has never been one to take his son fishing, never thrown a ball, no camping trips, no boy scouts.  No plays at school, Nada.  He did take him, however, on his weekends.  Of course, he choice the of weekends were when he was scheduled to work so he dumped his child off on his second wife to watch.  Now, Toilet Boy is so mean to him, his child refuses to spend time with him.

Sick.  Just sick.

And what a loss: to you Toilet Boy!

Ever since the divorce, the same thing has always been said:  “Toilet Boy, you’d better watch it.  You’re going to ignore your child so much that one day YOU will look up and HE will be gone.  He won’t wait on you forever.” Toilet Boy has never believed such a thing would actually happen to him.  Obviously there are many Toilet Boys out there, this single mother is not alone:

Cat’s in the Cradle” is a 1974 folk rock song by Harry Chapin from the album Verities & Balderdash. The single topped the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1974. As Chapin’s only #1 hit song, it became the best known of his work and a staple for folk rock music.

The song is told in first-person by a father who is too busy to spend time with his son. Though the son asks him to join in childhood activities, the father always responds with little more than vague promises of spending time together in the ‘future’. While wishing to spend time with his father, the son starts to model himself on his father’s behaviour, hence the verse wishing to be “just like him.” The final two verses are a reverse of the roles, where the father asks his grown-up son to visit, but the son responds that he is now too busy to find the time for his father. The father then reflects that they are both alike, saying “my boy was just like me.”

So, this blog post is for you, Toilet Boy.  One day and I promise you, it will come. You will be sad and lonely and alone and miserable and you will look for your child- you know, you’re only son- who adores you; the one who wonders aloud every single day of his life “What did I do to ever make you behave like this?”

You will look for him and he will have moved on.  You can slap someone in the face but so many times before a person grows weary and finally walks away.

After much contemplation, I have come to the conclusion: There is hope for the single mothers; all is not lost.  Every child has a choice and can make a different turn in his or her life.  Let the only difference between the child in this song and your child be this:

Let us teach our children that they can be everything that their absent parent was not.  Every child can and will learn from the ‘Toilet Boys’ out there; their mistakes and neglect; creating a new way of parenting and ending the heartache.  Tell your child that he /she will be a wonderful father; doting and nurturing.  He can and will be everything he did not have.

And you, Toilet Boy, I feel nothing but pity.  After All, one day… those familiar words will sing across the radio and vibrate through the air….

A 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 before I knew it and as he grew He said, “I?m gonna be like you, Dad You know I?m gonna be like you”
And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon Little boy blue and the man in the moon When you comin’ 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 okay”
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed And said, “I?m gonna be like him, yeah You know I’m going to be like him”
And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon Little boy blue and the man in the moon When you comin’ home, Dad, I don’t know when But we’ll get together then You know we’ll have a good time then
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?”
And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon Little boy blue and the man in 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
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 could find the time”
“You see my new job’s a hassle and the 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 had occurred to me He’d grown up just like me My boy was just like me
And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon Little boy blue and the man in the moon When you comin’ home, son, I don’t know when But we’ll get together then, Dad We’re gonna have a good time then….

 

 

 

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