238. When You’re Twenty-Something

Today’s the birthday of my granddaughter Sonja Christine Opsvig and her second cousin Joshua Thomas Melchior.  Sonja is 23 years old and Josh is 24. Sonja’s parents are Teresa (Ford) and Eric Opsvig.  Joshua’s are Rene (Fitzpatrick) and Dan Melchior.   Got that?  (It’ll be on the test.) 

Sonja-Begonia was born in Seattle on May 2, 1988 and she’s been pushing the envelope ever since.  Sonja is noted for accomplishing things.

During her first year of life, her family lived at our house. When Teresa and Eric brought her home from the hospital, her very first accomplishment was to turn yellow.  It wasn’t very fun for her parents.  The doctor made everybody feel a lot better though when he assured us that it wouldn’t be permanent, and that she didn’t have yellow fever.  After a few days under a funny sort of light device, she turned pink again.  It was kind of like the opposite of what happens when you go to a tanning salon.

Her next accomplishment was to survive being the big sister in a family of five girls.  The only worse position to be in her family is that of her father Eric. The lone male in a household of six females has to learn to defend himself against a whole menu of feminine activities and volcanic eruptions such as PMS.  For a man, Eric really knows a lot about PMS.  Oh, yes, he knows.

One thing about living in a harem-like environment is that everybody seems to get good grades and excel in sports, dancing, singing and art. Sonja’s next accomplishment was in gymnastics, a sport her Aunt Sonja excelled in.  Little Sonja got to the level where the coaches urged her to compete in national events, but the family decided that much travel and time away from home wasn’t a great idea.

That’s when Sonja took up Irish dance. This is how she did.


Along with dance, Sonja began acting and singing. She appeared in plays, videos, musicals, commercials, and won awards whenever she had a chance to compete.  She still loves to sing – just sang at her cousin Julie’s wedding in southern California.  

Wouldn’t this make you think that she’s preparing for a life in the arts?  Nah-ah. She’s studying to prepare for a career as a tech in nuclear medicine, ultrasound or radiology.  Go figure.  I guess she just doesn’t appreciate poverty. 

Among her most important accomplishments is that of serving as a world-class granddaughter.  Sonja is just a born winner, she is.

Now for my 24 year-old nephew Joshua Thomas Melchior.  There are three things you need to know about him.

1.  No matter what he tells you, he did NOT fight the Battle of Jericho.  That was that other Joshua.

2.  This kid has some smarts.  When you meet him, you get the feeling that what he doesn’t know, will soon be noodled out.  When we were at his cousin Corey’s wedding a few years back, Joshua was the only one doing homework!  I thought it was heroic.

3.  Joshua is one of those young people who can get comfortable with any tribe of people – toddlers, foreigners, people who are going on 80, or who are out of sorts, or who are out on parole, — you get the picture.  He has an engaging personality.  

That must be why he is.  Engaged, that is.  It just happened recently. This is the engagement story according to Joshua’s mom – my niece Rene.

“This is Joshua and Andrea, sometimes referred to as Shortcake, for  obvious reasons. She’s short and sweet! 

Joshua tricked her. This whole day was planned as a surprise for Shortcake for a long time. Silly thing is that she quietly asked their friends to pester and tease Joshua about proposing earlier in the day. Those friends that were with them goaded Joshua into “showing” how he would propose “if” he were to. Part of the plan of course. 

Josh removed her promise ring to “use” as a prop. He got down on one knee to profess his love, but then said, “Oh I would have to ask your father…..but I did that last week, then I would have to have a ring…..oh, I got that three weeks ago…..So-o-o… will you marry me?” Then he swaps rings in his pocket for the real McCoy and slips it on her finger. 

All this time she thinks he’s still “pretending”, and doesn’t look at her finger. So she gives him a kiss and a giggle. Then he puts her promise ring back on her other finger. That’s when she realized what just happened. That would be the picture of them both standing up. 

This all took place at the Mall and we were upstairs watching, without her knowledge. She noticed us when we started the whooping! 

We are all very excited to have Andrea as part of the family. The answer was, of course, “Yes”, but the date is still to be determined. They want to finish school first. They are both very practical. We love them both very much.”

So there you have it – a newcomer has come into our midst.  I just hope Andrea’s birthday isn’t in May.  We already have 17 other birthdays in May.  Octo-woman started using cough drops so she wouldn’t get hoarse from singing Happy Birthday 17 times in a row.  However, she has concluded  that cough drops aren’t nearly as effective as Costco’s Macademia Nut Clusters. Or wine.

Have a very happy birthday, dear children. Oh, to be twenty-something again!  I remember it well.  Stuck in school, don’t know what you want to be, poor, looking for work, semi-homeless . . . Listen, kids, the good news is that you’ve got a lot to look forward to.  But maybe we should discuss it after the party. Were you planning to invite me? 

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4 Responses to 238. When You’re Twenty-Something

  1. Joan Fitzpatrick says:

    Sonja, do you still do the “eye thing” ?

  2. Faithful follower of Goingon80 says:

    Happy birthday, Sonja and Joshua!

  3. Gretchen Covey says:

    Happy Birthday Sonja and Joshua!

    This was a fabulous post about both of you!

    Love, Gretchen

  4. A relative says:

    Sonja I watched every minute of your demo. That Irish dancing is so hard and I just loved your singing too. You have such a lovely voice. And Joshua what a sweet proposal! Happy, happy birthday to both of you!

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