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  • Slow Down

  • “Name” lyric video

  • Nichole Nordeman in studio performing The Unmaking

  • Nichole Nordeman in studio performing Legacy

  • Nichole Nordeman Talks About “The Unmaking”

  • Nichole Nordeman – The Unmaking

Slow Down

It Can Wait

It’s been a wonderfully weird week.

I was so excited to post our little Slow Down video. I had hoped it would be a meaningful soundtrack to Mother’s Day and graduation season. Having so much footage of friends’ children in the video, made it even more special, personally. What I did not expect was 15 million views in one week. Neither do I expect unicorn sightings.

I wrote Slow Down last year, the night before Charlie’s 5th grade graduation. I sat down to rehearse a familiar song I’d planned to sing in the ceremony when it hit me hard that my son was launching into middle school and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I made the grave mistake of digging out old albums, pouring over baby pictures and Kindergarten field trips. Karate and swimming lessons. Christmas pajamas. My actual heart actually hurt. I sat at my piano and let Slow Down spill out, washed in a sea of tears of gratitude and ache for all the little boy moments in the rear view mirror, and for all the extraordinary moments on the road ahead of him, now.

To watch this video catch fire and resonate with so many people filled my heart beyond capacity. Parents and grandparents everywhere feeling the simultaneous tug of heartache and joy as we watch the little people in our lives grow at warp speed, helpless to do anything but stand by, teary eyed, clutching old photos.

I’m on the tail end of a wonderful tour and had a couple days of cherished days at home in Tulsa, with my kids when this video viral business began. That small window of time at home filled quickly with interviews, emails, and general desperation at trying to keep up with the song’s sudden new exposure and an attempt at managing some kind of response to the attention.

I had promised my daughter, Pepper, we’d have a friend over after school.

Didn’t happen.

Instead, I scrambled to organize a frantic, impromptu photo shoot at the park, since we didn’t have any current pictures. My kids smiled dutifully for the camera, before asking to play for a few minutes after the photographer finished.

Nope. Didn’t happen.

We had to rush home to download photos to send to multiple media outlets.

I had promised my son a trip to the mall to get some new basketball shoes, as the soles are literally hanging off his old ones.

Didn’t happen.

I was glued, instead to my phone and laptop. Promising “only 5 more minutes.” Shushing them. Hurrying them out of the room so I could focus.

Focus on the raging success of a song I’d written about them. A song about being present. A song about not missing moments.

Pepper played alone for a long time. Organized her stuffed animals. Played the iPad until the battery died. Read to the dog. Patiently checking in to see how many more “5 more minutes” were left before I could spend time with her. She messed around in the kitchen and came back proudly with a creative snack for me (Oyster crackers, ranch dressing and side of Nutella. A Capri Sun to wash it down).

“No thank you, not now, Sweetie” I mouthed silently to her, during yet another urgent phone call.

At least Charlie could entertain himself upstairs with video games, where he had been, for hours.

Finally, after endless attempts at connecting with me, she tiptoed into the living room where I was (still) on the phone, and put a bowl of warm water on the floor by my feet. She’d carefully set out cotton balls, various lotions and bright pink nail polish, and was trying to untie my Nikes.

“Oh thank you, baby” I whispered, “but right now, Mommy can’t …”

I froze mid sentence, staring down at her big hopeful eyes, the moment thick with irony.

I have no time for my children, because I’m talking to the rest of the world about a song about only wanting more time with my children. My eyes stung with hot, tired tears.

My little girl is trying to wash my feet.



 Moms of earth, kindly repeat after me:

Most everything can wait.

I know some things can’t actually wait. Deadlines do exist. The bills don’t pay themselves. You found a lump? Go now. That gas leak you think you smell? Can’t wait.

But most of it can.

I hope this Mother’s Day you feel how cherished you are. I hope you laugh at what a disaster your pantry is. I hope you shrug at the 2 inches of unhighlighted hair that’s grown in. I hope you take pictures without filters and wear the laundry right out of the dryer, without folding it. I hope you take long naps and get long hugs from your littles.

Here’s to you.

PS. Oyster crackers and Nutella? Not awful.

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