Nina's birthday today!

Today is my daughter Nina's birthday.

Yesterday, the music video she made for me was chosen for the top five music videos of the week on The Current, which is the NPR station that everyone seems to consider to be the tastemaker in Minnesota.

Nina was happy to have the video chosen because even though she grew up in this state, (I did not), she has always felt like she doesn't fit in, and maybe like her efforts go unnoticed and unappreciated.

Although this wasn't a video representing her...and it was for her mom....there was still a sense of satisfaction for her.

It's the first music video she's ever made for anyone.

She has certainly been in several for her own music.

I'm not sure what kind of acknowledgement her own videos have had from The Current, if any, over the years.

Anyway, it was a nice thing for us both.

Today's her birthday.

She's twenty-nine years old.

I had her when I was thirty.

She was my very first child, first pregnancy.

Natural childbirth, no drugs, no interventions, no nothing.

I gave birth to her in Vermont.

Her father was a doctor, doing a residency at Dartmouth for Anesthesiology.

I told him that his job during the birth was to keep his cronies away from me.

I didn't want any of their help, their advice, their needles, or their drugs.

I had heard them tell stories at dinner parties.

It was almost all male doctors and they talked about the deliveries as if they were the experts.

The truth is that they aren't the experts until something goes wrong, and I know this now because although my first and second babies wee delivered naturally, my third baby was delivered surgically by Cesarean section.

Once something goes terribly wrong, if you don't have their help, you or your baby could die.

I was always talking about how women have "squatted in the fields" and delivered babies.

Good Lord, I have been such a brat.

I had it in my head that they were just so natural and good at it and not wimps.

But maybe they also suffered terribly, and some of them died, many of them died, in childbirth.

And the infant mortality rate was very high, is still very high, in places where modern medical interventions are not possible.

Maybe that's how it's supposed to be.

Maybe not so many babies are supposed to survive.

Now I sound like Ebenezer Scrooge ranting about "decreasing the surplus population".

I have three healthy children in my life and in my family right now.

I am so grateful for them.

I love them more than anything or anybody.


Twenty-nine years ago I became a mother.

Little baby Nina changed my life forever.

She taught me that I could care a lot.

That I wasn't so screwed up after all.

I knew what was right.

I could be a good mother.

This morning we are all going to the farmer's market, Rob, Nina, Aidan, and me.

We're going because that's what Nina wants to do.

Later I drive to Wisconsin and play my last rowdy summer patio show at JJ's Outpost.

It's been a great summer.

I have no idea what the winter will hold.

Happy birthday to my Nina and may all good things come our way, and yours.

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