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Davis Journal

Taking a journey like no other

May 12, 2022 11:14AM ● By Louise R. Shaw

It’s not exactly advice, but every now and then during our 30-minute conversations, I give what you might call a tip or two.

Perhaps because of our age difference it’s inevitable.

She’s not only younger than me but younger than my children, so I’ve had some life experience that I can’t stop myself from passing on any time there’s a chance someone might listen and even maybe benefit.

As I sit in the salon chair with nothing to do but talk with her as she cuts my hair, the stories and the thoughts and yes, the tips, just flow.

It’s an interesting relationship that develops when the same person cuts your hair every six weeks or so.

You know nothing about each other except what you share. There is no one around who corrects your recollections and little chance her world and yours would run into each other outside the salon. So each month, you share a little bit more of yourself and learn a little bit more of the person standing over you.

Our conversations would most often gravitate to travel. She has dreams of traveling a lot. I had been to some of the places she was interested in.

When she was planning her honeymoon to Kauai, I was glad to pass along how important it is to get to the Kalalau Lookout above the Na Pali Coast first thing in the morning. I didn’t want her to get fogged in like my husband and I did on our first trip. She listened and had a great time at the sunny overlook and then on hikes on the drive down, not worrying about if or when the clouds moved in.

When she was leaning toward taking a 10-day trip to London with a day trip to Paris in the middle, rather than a more expensive trip that was half London and half Paris, it was all I could do to keep from shouting: YOU CAN’T DO PARIS IN A DAY TRIP!!

You likely won’t see everything you want to see of Paris in a week, much less in a day that includes two hours of train riding on both ends. You have to walk the boulevards in Paris, glide under bridges in a boat on the Seine, spend hours getting lost in museums and take the subway to Montmartre one day and Versailles the next. You have to eat dinner in Paris and see the lights sparkle on the Eiffel Tower at night.

Best tip ever. 

Until last week.

Last week was different. We didn’t talk about travel. 

She was just two weeks away from having her first child and there was a lot to process and no, I told no childbirth stories.

Instead, we talked about new perspectives that come with the miracle of birth. 

It used to be that pain was a bad thing, I told her. But when you’re bringing a child into the world, pain is a good and necessary thing.

It used to be that someone waking you up at night was a bad thing. Now it is a good and necessary thing because you have care over a little being with a tiny stomach who needs not only food but love.

Motherhood is a journey unlike any other and it soon becomes clear that you don’t have total control of where it will take you.

All you need to know is that the most beautiful thing in the world is when one person sacrifices for another.

THE most beautiful.

And that’s what you’re doing. When there’s pain, when there are sleepless nights – whether it’s with a newborn child or a full-fledged adult – don’t see the hardship, see what’s beautiful. 

Bringing a child into the world, giving your all to help them manage it, is being in the most meaningful place in the world.

Oh and, don’t be surprised if you get tired. Any good adventure will do that to you.