“When I’m younger…”
It’s a phrase my four-year-old daughter uses often. (As you can tell, her concept of aging is still in the early stages of development.) While I often correct her with a “Do you mean when you’re older?” there’s something sobering about her words. They remind me that these days are fleeting. These days of cute misphrases, well-loved blankies, and read-aloud stories. They’re fleeting.
And sometimes, when she proudly proclaims, “When I’m younger…,” I just want to pause and whisper, “Slow down.”
I want to tell her to stay little longer. That it’s fun to be a kid. I want to promise her that I won’t tell the dentist if she sucks her thumb when she thinks that I’m not looking. Or that it’s okay if she talks through movies about topics completely unrelated to the plot. “Sure, go ahead and sing me that song about manners while the movie’s storyline unfolds. It’s okay. You won’t always want to, and I can rewatch this movie when you’re older.”
It’s with those words “when I’m younger,” that I realize perhaps all those people who’ve told me “It goes by fast,” were right.
I think all of us moms – including singer and songwriter Nichole Nordeman – feel the desire to slow down time at some point. But not all of us have been able to capture this longing in song so poignantly as Nordeman has done with the track “Slow Down” off her new EP, The Unmaking. In what’s destined to become many a mom’s musical pick for her child’s graduation, she beautifully captures the emotional tension that comes from raising arrows we need to let fly one day. And, I admit, the first time I heard the song, I cried.
“Slow Down” is one of six songs on The Unmaking. It’s an album that, as Nordeman told Vital Magazine, chronicles a recent season of brokenness in her own life. She shared with them:
“Christians are so anxious to fast-forward to the healing and to the hope and the happy ending of the story where God makes all things new,” she says. “All of that is true sometimes, but we just are so uncomfortable sitting in the tough spot. I think that’s what I wanted to do with The Unmaking, just acknowledge that God is with us, and there is no shame, in fact there’s strength, in sitting in the rubble and being vulnerable with Him.”
While The Unmaking is Nordeman’s first studio release since her 2005 project, Brave, those who have loved and missed her music need not worry that she’s reinvented herself. Vocally and musically, this album is quintessential Nordeman.
Before long, my four-year-old will soon grasp the concept of aging. And, as she does, the phrase “When I’m younger…” will disappear from her vernacular. When that happens, know that you can find me listening to “Slow Down” and crying what may very well constitute an ugly sort of cry as I realize that my baby is one day closer to flying. Yep, that’s a reference you’ll just have to listen to the song to understand.
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