My brilliant cousin Amy has started a blog challenge of writing about something happy each day of the month for the entire month. I love March for more reasons than I realized once I started thinking about today. I'm not a grumpy Gus, but I'm definitely not a super-duper, really excited person either. I feel that at times, the things that make me happy might seem superficial, but there are real things that matter more.
March has my second favorite holiday, St. Patrick's Day. My birthday is my favorite holiday.
St. Patrick's Day also happens to be the birthday of one of my dearest friends, Melanie, whom I don't talk to as much but miss bullshitting with.
It also has one of the few really important birthdays of the year in it, March 19th. That's my mom's birthday. So I guess, I'm starting the challenge with a letter from my mom.
On my 30th birthday, I got a letter from my mom. She lives out in Oregon with my stepfather. I've never been one to be really close to my family, both by mileage and emotions. The letter I got that day, I've kept and always will. This is what it said:
"Happy 30th birthday! There we were, in Wichita, Kansas. I woke up with labor pains and you dad called our friend Susie Roper to come over and babysit while we went off to the hospital. Susie climbed into our be and went to sleep. Later she woke up with little David standing at the side of the be, staring at her. It was a little shocking for both of them. One thing I now know about labor pains: they are a lot worse when you are lying down. And so, by the time we got to the hospital the pains had lessened and the staff wanted to send me back home. Fortunately, that didn't happen, because just a few hours later you were born. I loved you from the moment they told me I had a son. We named you a good, strong English name. The night before we had been to a choir party and I asked the men if they liked their names. Richard of the choir liked his, and never had a nickname. Also, there is a Richard on your dad's side of the family and I liked that connection. So there you are. At first I wanted to name you Daniel, but we though having to say, "Please meet our two sons, David and Daniel, was just too much. And I really liked Carlton, but the TV show Rhoda had a doorman named Carlton and at the time that was all anyone could say about that great name. Far a long time I thought that if I had it to do again, I would have named you Thomas, after that family name of ours. Or Peyton. Did you know that my first birth certificate had Sara Belle? What a problem that would have been since Clara Belle was the well-known clown of the times. So Richard it is. Your friends and other family may call you nicknames, but Richard you will always be to me."
Every year on my birthday, I read this letter. It reminds me of many things but more importantly, it makes me really happy. Just like this picture.
Happiness comes in many forms. Today it's these.