In ninth grade I used to babysit for the Stewart's nearly every weekend. They were the best to tend for because their kids were totally adorable and always went to bed on time. They would leave soda and microwave popcorn for babysitters and they paid well. After the kids were down for the night I would take advantage of unfettered access to a CD collection. I didn't get a CD player of my own until my senior year so it was such a thrill to be able to SKIP songs or put my favorites on REPEAT.
I discovered quite a few musicians through the Stewart's music. I fell head over heels with Harry Connick Jr at their house, I broadened my George Michael knowledge, I got to know some Bonnie Raitt...but by far their greatest contribution to my life was a deep and abiding love for Kenny Loggins. I realize this admission may destroy all the musical credibility I have built up over the years but I'm actually serious. This isn't some ironic affection, I legitimately listened to "Leap of Faith" in it's entirely (because I eventually had to buy the tape so I could listen at my own house) almost every single day of my sophomore year.
I was planning to write a snarky post about this series of funny videos my friend showed me on YouTube the other day that poke a little fun at the late 1970's Southern California "Yacht Rock" of Kenny Loggins and Micheal McDonald and the like. And maybe one of these days I will post one of them but tonight I got a little distracted and sad when I started googling the legendary Mr. Loggins to get a little more info for this post.
One of my favorite songs on "Leap of Faith" was one called "The Real Thing" which Loggins wrote for his children to explain why he and their mother were divorcing. In retrospect I guess it's funny that I was so drawn to that particular song. At that age my parents getting a divorce seemed as likely as a unicorn showing up in my bedroom but I used to play that song over and over and cry and cry. I was sort of comforted by the fact that Loggins had remarried and had two more children and he and his new wife had this sort of over the top and nauseating but still lovely relationship. They even put out a book of marital advice. Which was again, sort of over the top and nauseating. So I was sad to read that apparently he and Julia separated a few years ago after fifteen years together. And he has two ridiculously sad songs-one to her and one to his oldest son-about how much he misses their relationships. It's quite a devastating discovery for a Tuesday night.
But it sort of ties in with this thing I've thinking about lately regarding being an adult. It's a lot freakin' harder than I thought when growing up seemed to mean getting to stay up late and drive a car. Didn't we all assume that the adults in our lives had all the answers? Instead I feel like the more I understand and the more I "grow up", the more complicated and confusing life can be. Because sometimes life is this:
People smile and tell me I'm the lucky one, and we've just begun,
Think I'm gonna have a son.
He will be like she and me, as free as a dove, conceived in love,
Sun is gonna shine above.
And even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with ya honey,
And everything will bring a chain of love.
And in the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes,
And tell me everything is gonna be alright.
and sometimes it is like this
I did it for you, and the boys,
Because love should teach you joy,
And not the imitation,
That your momma and daddy tried to show you.
I did it for you, and for me
And because I still believe,
There's only one thing,
That you can never give up,
Never compromise on,
And that's the real thing you need in love
The only answer to the confusion that I can come up with is to find something-and for me it's faith-that can be a constant in the midst of so much uncertainty. So that death and heartbreak and disappointment can only shake you to a point. I'm trying not to ask for less to deal with, but for more patience and faith to get through the stuff that I sincerely believe makes you a better person than always getting everything you think you want.
So instead of making fun, I am going to end with a memory of a moment that was clear and good for both Kenny and me. The summer after my junior year of high school, all the planets aligned and I ended up at a Kenny Loggins concert in Park City with the ward boy I had loved from the minute his family moved in from Boston. It was at an outdoor venue and the weather was beautiful and the boy was perfect and the crowd was l-o-v-i-n-g the Loggins. At the time he had a new wife, a couple babies and a hit record. I'll bet he was on top of the world. I bet we both made a lot of plans that summer about how our lives would "end up". A lot has changed since then but I hope somewhere out there Kenny's current life is as rich and satisfying as mine has been. Even if the universe has a way of interupting our best laid plans.
Here is a Kenny Loggins classic. Enjoy.
What a Fool Believes