cat's in the cradle...

It is an odd thing to be a father of adult daughters in these early days of the 21st century: odd and wonderful. On Father's Day 2009, despite the commercialization, it causes me to think back carefully over the many years of loving and guiding my two daughters. I became a peace activist back in the 80s (after being a conscientious objector during Vietnam and taking a long break) when a flock of Canada geese almost caused US Cruise missiles to attack the former Soviet Union on my daughter, Michal's, 5 birthday.

That led to my congregation getting involved in a variety of people-to-people visits with Soviet Christians - I took 50+ teens and their parents in 1984 - to say nothing of community sponsored conversations about the arms race. I taught my oldest daughter, Jesse, all the old union songs when she stayed with me one summer while I was organizing woodcutters in Mississippi. And when she graduated from an elite girls' high school - and gave her senior speech - she had the choir sing, "Union Maid." (It must have driven the corporate guys and their trophy wives NUTS!)

And now they are 32 and 30 respectively - teaching middle school in Brooklyn, NY and running a roadside cafe for folks with emotional issues transitioning back into the mainstream - and I love them all the more dearly as adults - even though I often still see them both as babies (I was a hippie and delivered them both) and children and young women. They have taught me so much and enlarged my small world 1000 fold. They are both married now to two great men - and I give thanks to God for this, too.

Interestingly, the first song I ever used from the secular world in worship was Harry Chapin's, "Cat's in the Cradle" because it was a prayer...

The second was Springsteen's, "My Hometown." We were living in Michigan during that economic collapse - the auto and steel industries tanking and many of our church friends scrambling for a future - and sometimes I would drive around our town with one of my daughters on my lap as we looked at their hometown. They both learned to drive a standard shift car, too, during that time - and judged their boyfriends by whether they could handle a real car or not - and this was a prayer, too

I am grateful for my daughters - for our good times and tough ones - because they have helped me. Blessings to you both, sweet women.


Black Pete said…
"Man who have only daughters live among flowers." Chinese ESL students told me this proverb when they learned I have only daughters.

We learn so much from them, such are the flowers.
RJ said…
I couldn't agree more... thanks, my man.

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