The Short of It
Just in time for Mother's Day, a singer-songwriter's "Slow Down" song about her kids is going viral.
Single mom Nichole Nordeman was caught off guard by her emotions the night before her son Charlie's fifth-grade graduation.
"I dug out a few pictures of him as little boy—kindergarten, karate lessons, drumming, throwing a Frisbee," she explained to Today. "I felt such a wave of sadness that those moments were gone. And as proud as I was of him as a fifth-grader, my main emotion in that moment was a deep desire to hit the brakes on this whole growing-up business."
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So the proud mama sat down at the piano, and through tears, she wrote the song, "Slow Down," in about an hour. She performed it the next morning at the graduation ceremony and then posted a music video to Facebook that features home footage of her family and the families of some of her close friends.
"I don't know of a more uttered or whispered phrase from a mother of any age, about her child of any age, than 'It's going by too fast,'" she wrote in the caption. "I feel like I spend my life trying to slow time. Trying to celebrate the growth and milestones of my children, and then secretly day dreaming about building a time machine in my garage, so I can return to rocking my babies at midnight. If you've ever looked at your child running across a field, or striding across a graduation stage, or walking down the middle aisle of a church clutching a bouquet, you'll know why this song is special to me."
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And to other parents too, apparently. To date, "Slow Down" has received 1 million views on YouTube and 15.7 million on Facebook!
"I think any time a song connects at this level, it's pointing to some universally true thing that a lot of us experience," Nordeman says. "So many of us are trying to slow down this breakneck speed at which we live our lives and be in the now. I think that might be why people have responded so emotionally."
My daughter is graduating from middle school this year, so this song really got to me—by which I mean I'm now sitting here typing through tears. Not a day goes by that I don't wish I could somehow turn back time. Wasn't my little girl just setting off for her first day of preschool yesterday?
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It's amazing how they quickly they grow up right before our eyes, isn't? It's all so fast and scary. But it's our job to help our children develop their wings and then use them to fly. So while we can't slow down or stop them from maturing, we can slow ourselves down by remaining present and savoring every single moment of this truly beautiful time. If we blink, we'll miss it.