Twenty-some years ago, my mom married a handsome, bearded man named Mark. He loved camping and his pick-up truck and oh man how he loved my Jersey Mama. My mom had full custody of me so naturally him and I spent a lot of time together. We shared a mutual love for popcorn and ice cream (with chocolate syrup) and when my Mama had a job working out of town, or just a job working a lot of hours, that's what we'd have for supper. Through Mountain Mark I developed a silly sense of humor and a fondness for things like Get Smart and The Jerk. I learned to laugh easily and how to camp in the rain. Oh it wasn't always sunshine and rainbows. I was a difficult teenager (to put it mildly) and there were the usual clashes over discipline, boys, etc. But when push came to shove, Mark always had my back and has always been one of my biggest "cheerleaders" and oh how I love him. At my wedding I insisted that I have a Daddy-Daughter dance with him as well. We danced to "Tiny Dancer" though Mark later said he wished we'd danced to The Best Of Times by Styx. Now that I'm grown, we share a friendship that's indescribable. He still makes me laugh and no one else really thinks we're as funny as we do. We talk every day and it is one of my greatest sorrows that him and Jersey Mama don't live closer.
So even before we found out we were having a boy, I knew I wanted to honor Mark somehow. I'm his only child and I really wanted the baby boy to have some part of Mark in him. So, our baby grunt became Joshua Mark. And every time I call him by his full name I get a little tingle of joy and warmth in my heart. I've always used Stomp's full name often (in regular conversation, when I tell him I love him, when he's in trouble of course) and I can see the trend continuing with Joshua, especially because of the love I feel for Mountain Mark.