Beth Blenz-Clucas recruits Jeff Bogle to join the 2 Tunes team this week
I like parenting. Not all the time, but most days it ain’t a shabby way to spend a lifetime. But I get wistful easily, more easily with every passing moment it seems. Raising children is a joyous exercise, but for me the smiles come part and parcel with a dose of melancholy. It’s impossible to avoid really, for once they are upright, there is no more crawling. Once they master the legs out / legs back thing on the swings, there are no more puppy dog eyes pleading for one more big push. Once they grab the car keys… well, I’m not quite there yet.
Every moment that passes, every breath they take is one closer to them walking away; fleeing your protection, your helpful words of encouragement and time-tested advice.
The mere thought of the day when home becomes an answer to the ‘previous address’ question on an application brings on hearty tears. Yet we parents know that when they leave, they will come back. And when they return, we’ll let ‘em in, kiss ‘em and hold on tight for however long it takes to make the real world melt away again.
Few bands can convey this specific emotion; that it was done by a fella who does not have children of his own… well, that’s a beautiful accident.
According to Dawes‘ frontman Taylor Goldsmith, their song “Fire Away” from Nothing is Wrong was written about a friend who had lost his way. You can easily hear it as a statement of friendship through difficult times. For me, “Fire Away” rings loud and clear as a testament to parenthood. Towards the end of the song, Taylor sings “…I could at least love you through each stumble, shift and sway” and then he, his brother Griffin (on drums) and the band’s piano player alternate singing “when you need someone to walk away from / when you need someone to let you in.”
It’s powerful, and beautiful, and all I can think of is being there for your kids as they grow, make mistakes, find themselves in undesirable situations and have only the love of their mom and dad to see them through it all. It might take more than a Band-Aid to make it all better but, as parents, we will be there to mend, heal and fix, as best we can. The song comes to a close with those words and just the thumping of drums as a heartbeat. The effect is poignant and extremely emotional.
And now, from the child’s perspective: On “Home,” David Tobocman taps into a thoughtful, loving child’s mind with insight and grace. The child understands that the distance between him and the ones he loves back home gets (or will get) greater with each swerve in life’s path, and yet also never changes one bit. Tobocman conveys this truth beautifully with the line “Everywhere I roam / anywhere I travel / I am never far at heart from my home.”
Dawes sings of them needing to walk away, Tobocman of them knowing they’ll always have a home to come back to. That’s parenting, folks.