Sunday, December 14, 2008
We are eating dinner when the song comes on. Harry Chapin's voice always makes me pause. The cats in the cradle and the silver spoon, little boy blue and the man in the moon and as she's taken to doing more and more M inevitably asks what's this song about?
So we begin to explain, we stumble around a bit but finally get to the point. It wasn't quite as hard as explaining Coming into Los Angeles by Arlo Guthrie, what are keys mama, who is Mister Customs Man and why doesn't he like him mama....but we still muck around, partly or mostly because I fear what she might say and she does. She says exactly that.
But mama, you are gone at work a lot. Sometimes you come home late. I don't like it so is that like in the song and in that space a million puppies died and chocolate milk ran out forever. J's silent, he's not helping out with this one, he thinks I work too much too and besides this song was practically written for him and his dad and he kills him every time it plays.
I tell her I am sorry, that I know it's hard understanding why I have to go to work every day and how one of the main reasons we are moving is to change this cycle we are forced to be on in order to make ends meet. I think of how so many families work 2 and 3 jobs and how some folks don't want to spend time with their kids but others truly cannot because they are working so hard to survive. And then I think of the precipice we are on and if we can make it work and if we can sustain it and realize once again everything we know to be true is about to change.