I meant to write this post last month but Owen got sick, then we went on a trip and now I’m sick! It’s been a busy few weeks!
Do you know what special day is celebrated on March 10? Written another way, Mar10, does that help? I know what special day it is because I’m an excellent mom, not because I had several friends message me on Facebook that morning to tell me of the wondrous made up holiday. Okay, FINE, it is because people messaged me on Facebook. In case my clue didn’t give it away and in case you aren’t a Super Fan like Owen is… March 10th is Super Mario Day!
Honestly you guys, I never would have thought I would celebrate Super Mario Day. I never had anything against him. The games are fun. I was even pretty stellar at Mario Kart when I was a teenager. It’s just that I was never a huge fan. I was never going to be like the grown men I found standing outside the Best Buy on the night Mario Odyssey was released, waiting to be let in at midnight. It also happened to be the night the new iPhone I had been waiting for was released and I assumed that was what the line was for. After five minutes and seeing them high five because there was a GIRL in line I asked them, “Are you in line for the iPhone X?” They were not, apparently opening in the middle of the night to sell some lady her phone didn’t rank as high as selling a few video games. Thanks Best Buy!
Owen however is a huge fan of Mario. He has enough t-shirts to wear nothing but Super Mario for more than a week to prove it. We have an ever growing collection of Mario Plush characters, a Princess Peach castle, and hats. We even dressed up as Owen’s favorite characters for Halloween! (As an aside, would you guys like Owen’s daddy to write a post about Mario X games? A game Owen and his daddy invented during the Olympics?)
When he was about 2 years old and all the other kids his age were crazy for Thomas the Train, Owen didn’t really care much. Sure he’d watch the show but he had no real affection for the toys. He never went through a Caillou phase (thankfully). I got away with planning every single birthday party based on a theme I liked and I planned our family Halloween costumes for the first six glorious years of Owen’s life. Every year as I planned parties and costumes I’d laugh to my friends that I was going to enjoy it as long as I could. Throwing a Circus party is so much more fun than being stuck with a Mickey Mouse theme because that is what your kid wants! I’d laugh and laugh. The truth is, it hurt. Why didn’t Owen like anything special? I worried that it said something about him that he didn’t seem particularly attached to any character. Maybe something was missing in him, some sort of emotional attachment? I made jokes about how much I liked to be in charge because I didn’t want to cry about the fact that I didn’t have a clue what to tell friends when they asked what Owen would like as a gift.
This past summer, out of the blue, Owen became obsessed with Super Mario. He would bounce around in the pool and just shout the names of characters from the Mario games at me. “Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Bowser!!!” Then he would name every single Mario Game he could think of, “Super Mario Brothers, Mario Kart, Mario Kart 8, Mario Party!” He even picked out his own backpack for 1st grade, Super Mario, of course.
I was so sad that I’d already sent out invites to his birthday party because it was much too late to change the theme but for the first time ever I was able to tell people what he’d like for his gifts, anything to do with Super Mario. He even ripped his special birthday shirt off when he opened his first gift and it had a Mario t-shirt in it and put on his new, bright orange Mario Maker shirt immediately.
So, when I woke up on the morning of March 10th to multiple messages and shares on Facebook from friends telling me that it was Super Mario day, I knew we had to celebrate! I ran out to the store and bought decorations and a cake! I wish you could have seen the lady’s face at Walmart when I asked her to write, “Happy Mario Day!” on the cake. We even bought Mario some gifts, that Owen helped him open because that’s the kind of friend he is! K’nex makes these little Super Mario figures that come in blind bags and Owen loves them so I got one for Mario. When we opened it there was a tiny Mario inside. Owen held it up and yelled, “Look a Mario for Mario!” and he clapped his hands. It was so sweet! We sang “Happy Mario Day”, we ate cake, we played games, we danced. We really went all out. It was a great day.
I know this all seems so silly. I can’t believe the amount of money and time I spent putting together an impromptu party for a plush Mario doll, but next year Owen might not feel the same way about Mario. I really wanted to celebrate Owen’s first childhood love. I wanted to have photos to look back on one day so we could remember what Mario means to us. Because Owen loves him, we all love him…so much.
P.S. We were asked to make a video for an upcoming event using the prompt “Imagine a world where…” I had tons of my own ideas and already starting putting together pictures and writing what I wanted to say when Justin said, “Why don’t we ask Owen what he would say, after all this video is because of him.” Well, I’m sure you can probably guess what he had to say…