Happy back-to-school season!
As you probably know, I’m releasing a new single on the first Friday of each month, and my August song is for all you parents who’re busy gearing up to send your kiddos back to the classroom. I LOVE this song. Dave and I wrote Paving The Runway (You're Gonna Fly) with our friend Ross King with whom we wrote Braver Still.
As most (if not all) of you know, I have two little girls, Lucy (8) and Nora (5). For the past eight years or so, Dave and I have been writing songs for and about them. Four of my top ten songs on iTunes were written for them! I never set out to be the lady who writes tons of lullabies, but because I tend to write about things that are closest to my heart, I keep coming back to the topic of parenthood. Paving the Runway fits squarely in the parenting category.
The song was inspired by a blog post by my friend Al Andrews awhile back when both of his grown boys left the nest. Al wrote, “Parenting is all about preparing your children to leave well.” His words of wisdom provided much-needed perspective for me as I’m still in the middle of helping my kids with dental floss and knotted shoelaces. Right now, leaving the nest seems like a speck on the distant horizon.
In his blog post, Al reminded me that as parents, our job is more than helping our kids survive or get good grades. Our purpose is to teach them how to fly on their own someday. In order to do that, I’m realizing that I need to allow my kids to dream big, to take risks, and to learn how to fail and then get back up again.
We teamed up in the studio again with our friend Ben Shive. We told him that we wanted the song to have a Randy Newman vibe (he’s the guy who does all the Toy Story songs). We originally thought Paving the Runway would have a bouncy cadence similar to You’ve Got a Friend in Me, but when Ben heard it, he felt like it would make a bigger emotional impact as a ballad. I totally agree!
Ben wrote and tracked the piano accompaniment with some input from Dave and me, and now it’s hard for me to sing the entire song without getting choked up. I imagine it will be the soundtrack to countless baby slideshows and father/daughter dances.
Let’s make another one next month!