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  • “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

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All of my favorite little girl memories spent with my Dad, involve a little failure.

I like to be good at things, and I tend to stick to what I’m good at. As I child, I recognized that musical things came easily, so I sang a lot. Played my piano, constantly. I was good at creative stuff, so I felt very at home in my mom’s domestic world. I knew intuitively what to do with electric mixers and spatulas, coloring pencils or a needle and thread. I have always been a creator. Most of my childhood memories are washed in these warm watercolors.

My Dad was the one who always coaxed me into a world of risk.

Learning to ride a bike.

Trying out for the basketball team.

Getting my driver’s license.

The trying of the awkward things. The failing of the things.

The things that take time and repetition and hot tears and hugs.

This is unique to a father’s love, I think.

Women are so prone to nurture and protect. Moms are never the first ones to push us out on a branch and let our legs shake uncontrollably. As my son enters the 7th grade, he occasionally dreams out loud about where he’d like to go to college. His list always includes far away, wonderful places. YES! I say. I want you to fly and dream and explore …at the local community college. I want you to STAY.

My Dad always said GO.

And if you need me to, I’ll go with you.

Go allllll the way up to the tree at the end of the street. Pedal hard and then make a big wide turn and ride back to me.

Go out on that court and play defense like we practice in the driveway every night. Stop apologizing. Go hard.

(It’s okay. Go tell the coach tomorrow that basketball is not really your thing. Let’s go get ice cream and go home).

Yes, you may go to the movie with the boy. Go change that outfit, first.

Go get your oil changed. Check both mirrors. Go slow.


You want to go to Los Angeles to try and pursue a music career instead of using the college degree I just paid for? I’ll drive the U-Haul. Let’s go.

Oh. Now we’re moving to Nashville with the same dream? You go, girl.

The broken marriage is not going to survive? Go gather up those pieces and bring that shattered heart over here, this minute. (and see above comment about the U-Haul). And then let’s go to the Lord about it all.

Anybody have anything hurtful to say about my girl? Let me tell you where you can go.

Father’s Day retail displays always make me roll my eyes, a little. I just can’t really buy into the fact that there are so many men for whom meaning and masculinity are found in grilling accessories and electric razors. Or ties.

Dad, I’ll never be able to really articulate how lost I’d be without you. How relieved I am to know you have my back, always. That I can lean hard into your quiet strength. I’m not even afraid of falling down anymore, because I know whose hand will dust me off. I know whose heart I can trust. And Dad, where words fail me, I really think this “Meat Smoking Manifesto” says it all.

(This is an actual book, which I’m sure is wonderful).

 This Father’s Day, let’s try to slow down long enough to find some words and pictures and songs to tell the men in our lives what they mean to us. Let’s dust off the older memories etched deep in our hearts…or maybe a few from last week. Let’s find ways to point to the times and the talks that shaped us as children…the ones that are shaping OUR children. Dig out old photographs. Tell him why they are your favorites. And sure, give him a new apron for the grill, but stand out there in the heat with him and tell him who you are because of who he is.

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