We are in Redding, CA tonight. We have covered 750 miles since leaving Las Vegas Sunday morning. (Will now have Sheryl Crow singing Leaving Las Vegas in my head for the rest of the night.) Anyway, we hope to make it to Portland sometime tomorrow night.
Trip has been going well – the kids are doing awesome. No car trouble, which I’m grateful for. My mom has been doing most of the driving, upon her insistence. I have holed up in the passenger seat with my laptop trying to get the myriad of last-minute details finished up. I’ve stopped looking up much, since the view of taillights one inch from my front bummer is frankly terrifying. When I mention that we may want to give the BMW sports car in front of us a bit more space, my 62-year-old mother just deadpans “I’m a good driver”. I nod and shut up, until I’m thrown around in the front seat as the car swerves violently at 70mph. I look over and discover my mom is reaching into the backseat to throw away a bit of trash, because she “didn’t want to disturb me”. I’m disturbed! Then Rhia pipes up from the peanut gallery; “Mama, my neck hurts. Does yours?” “Yes it does, honey.”
Rhiannon, my oldest daughter, turned 5 today. It bothers me that we’re on the road for her birthday, but I really tried to make it as fun as possible. She was so jazzed to have it be her special day that I don’t think she minded at all. We went out for lunch at a decent restaurant, where they gave her a sundae and sang Happy Birthday. We found a nice park and took a long break so they could enjoy the beautiful day by a river. We stopped early tonight, and I found a salon where we both got our hair done – this is a treat for us, since I’m one of those moms who insists I can cut bangs with my kitchen scissors just as well as someone at a salon. My hair is usually in a ponytail anyway, so I just go an embarrassingly long time between trims. In any case, the mother/daughter salon session was quite the event. She looked adorable in the chair – really grown up, yet so small.
Rhiannon started me down the whole natural path. When I knew I wanted to get pregnant, a full 18 months before it actually happened, I started reading every book I could get my hands on about pregnancy and birth. By the time I was pregnant, I knew I could not give birth in a hospital. I also discovered I had married a fairly mainstream guy, so I had to have all the statistics, facts and figures down solid in order to present my case for an out-of-hospital birth experience. Since we were living in Oregon at the time, I found an awesome birth center and wonderful midwives. They gave a fabulous introduction to proper nutrition, and I was highly motivated to actually nourish and care for my body, for the first time. Rhiannon’s pregnancy and birth opened me up to a great deal of healing.
Rhiannon has been my inspiration to live my life to a higher standard, and become the person I want to be. I want to give her a role model she can respect, someone worthy of emulating. It’s a tall order, and not easy, and I’m not sure I’m even successful at it, but I am trying. She is worth the effort. Every day.
Happy Birthday, Rhiannon. You’re an amazing person, and I’m so glad I get to be your mother.