Cat’s In The Cradle Song Favorite For My Dad & Me

Dwight Johnson
Retired AF Lt. Col. with a PhD Ethical Behavior. Teacher and Mentor on Ethics and Leadership.

Feb 25,2017

In 1974 a song was released that had a profound effect on my father and me. That song was by Harry Chapin’s Cat’s in the Cradle and the Silver Spoon. It talks about a father and a son’s relationship. I remember in 1983 when my first son was born and I was helping clean him up in the natal unit with the nurses and the strains of that song came into my head. I started crying as I had lost my father three years before. My father named me after him and I then named my son after my father and me.

The lyric I remember most is “He’d say ‘I’m gonna be like you dad,You know I’m gonna be like you’.” Well, for the three of us we are like each other. We have and still serve our country in the Air Force. All three of us were and are dedicated to our jobs and the BIGGEST priority is our family. While my dad did not get a college education he was without a doubt the smartest man I have ever known. Family was always the priority for my Dad, me and now my son.

My son now has a son named after my father, his grandfather, and now his father. I hope that this song that I relate to my father and my son, will relate to my son and his son as a warning about being too involved in your job to NOT take time to be with your family and do the small things in life that mean so much to a son. Some of those things are being at an athletic event and watching your son compete or going to a legislation hearing that your son is testifying before. These occurred between my Dad and me. For my son going to an athletic event and watching him compete, going to his graduation from college and getting promoted, but more importantly than that was the honor of commissioning him and then 10 years later promoting him to the rank of Major.

We do not know yet what my grandson will do but I do know this that the warning from the song Cats in the Cradle and Silver Spoon is being heeded by Dads all over the world. Don’t lose this time with your sons and daughters. Take an interest in their lives you might be surprised by the outcome and the relationship that will develop!

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