"Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

Monday, July 10, 2006
Cat's Cradle, Silver Spoons, And Moon Men
Some years ago, more than I care to admit, I sat in a religion class at BYU. The instructor, whose name escapes me at the moment, was talking about the relationships between fathers and sons and how quickly those boys we now try to keep from burning the house down will be raising sons of their own.

During the lecture he pulled out a stereo and played a song written and performed by Harry Chapin. Its called Cat's in the Cradle. You've probably heard it before. Its also been recorded by Ugly Kid Joe and, to my shock and amazement, Guns N' Roses.

I'll let the irony of that seep in to you for a moment. Ok. End of wide-eyed reflection on music irony.

The rainy season has come to my zip-code and as rain does it has caused my lawn to grow. Growing grass requires that I peform the manly task that has been handed down from father to son for centuries - namely doing battle with the lawn armed with somewhat sharp spinning blades attached to a small gas powered motor.

This year I have brought the now nine-year-old Corderinho out to help me with this bi-weekly battle. As we pushed the mower across the tall grass, a memory of me and Father Cordeiro came to my mind. It was literally long ago, and far away on the Presidio of San Francisco. There was no motor attached to the spinning blades of that mower. Any and all power was provided by pushing the two wheeled contraption across the grass. Needless to say, both Father Cordeiro and I got quite a workout. It wasn't long before I was left to mow the lawn by myself and learned not to let the grass get too long, lest it become impossible to mow.

Now I'm raising Cordeirinho in much the same fashion. The tools have changed some what, but the lessons remain the same. Responsibility is taught line by line, or in the case of the lawn, row by row. Roles change as time passes. The student becomes the teacher. The son becomes the father.

In the eternities, in my humble opinion, our sociality will be much more collegial than it is here on the earth. Grandfathers, fathers, sons, daughters, and mothers will interact in an environment unaffected by age and the limiting infirmaties that accompany it. It is one aspect of the eternities I look forward to, if for no other reason than I'll be able to go fishing with Grandfather Cordeiro, Granpa Frank, and others in my ancestral line I never got to meet.

I enjoy being a father. I greatly appreciate the fact I can talk to Father Corderio about the challgenges inherent in the job of a father. As I was growing up, he took the time to teach me the little lessons I would need when it came time for me to teach my son. Fatherhood is not something that can be effectively outsourced.

And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me,
He'd grown up just like me.
My boy was just like me.

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, son?" "I don't know when,
But we'll get together then, dad.
You know we'll have a good time then."
One can only hope.
For some reason I was thinking it was Cat Stevens. They sounded so much alike to me.

Anytime you need to use that "I'm teaching" time, yhou can very easily use my yard as your classroom.

*Grin* I have a very very large classroom.
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