“Cat’s in the Cradle”

I don’t want to be the guy in the Harry Chapin song. I have a 14-year-old son, Cameron. His mom and I divorced amicably a few years ago, and I live literally 5 minutes away. He alternates weeks at our respective places.

His mom lives in a nice neighborhood where his friends can come and hang out and he can ride his bike to his grandmother’s house if he wants.

I live in a small second-floor condo unit, in a development of mostly older people. What kids there are, are younger, so it’s just he and I hanging out when he’s staying with me.

Generally he’ll spend the evening in the living room on his Xbox, playing Halo 3 online with some of his school friends, while I hole up in my bedroom surfing the ‘net, playing guitar, whatever. Occasionally I’ll sit in the living room and read while he plays, but that’s not really spending quality time together; that’s just being in the same room.

One night a week we’ll go to karate class together (when it’s not soccer season), and we go out to a restaurant once a week, but I want to do more with him before he’d rather spend his time hanging out with his buddies. Maybe a game night, or bowling once a week, or something.

But I want to get something done before the day I say “Hey, let’s go do this” and he says “Sorry, Dad, I’ve got plans.”

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