Melanie Carol Jones Mellenthin is 33.

A little late, just a couple days, but here we are nonetheless.

On August 2, 1975, my 2-year-old sister Elizabeth caught a catfish. We were fishing below the dam at Lake Barcroft, at the mouth of Holmes Run, our favorite fishing spot. We were there because in 1975, the hospitals still didn’t allow husbands to be in close contact with their wives during delivery of a baby. So Dad took the three of us fishing. And Melanie Carol was born at Alexandria Hospital that afternoon.

Melanie was very often more than the rest of us. She was willful and stubborn, and cute as a button. We have video to prove it. She grew up rebellious, was the first of us to smoke and drink (I think, the timeline is a little fuzzy for me since I was alternately 3000 and 10,000 miles away). She got kicked out of the house more times than anyone else. She attempted to care very little about that.

But she didn’t succeed. By the time I was married to Jeanette Melanie was coming around, and a few years after that she married a BYU cheerleading captain, settled in Draper, and started having children.

Well, there were a couple of fits and starts on that. I remember Melanie sacked out on my couch in my basement after surgery that was somewhat reproductively threatening. She and Brian really wanted a child, and though it looked for a while that they wouldn’t succeed,they finally did have one.

Then two more at once. Then something like fourteen a year. For a decade. I think they have seventy children now.

And a weird thing happened. Melanie sits in the center of the family, with three above and three below her. She became everyone’s friend. She’s the social pivot of the family. When we want to do something as a family, we have Catherine plan it but it’s Melanie we call to find out what’s going on. She has the coolest ideas, the hippest clothes, the most interesting decorating ideas; she’s the one we all want to be when we grow up.

Not that this goes to her head – she’ll read this and say “whatever” – but in many ways she’s the glue that makes the family stick together. She takes the job seriously, and we all benefit from it.

Her family is a miracle, and so is she.

Love you, pocket. Happy birthday.

One Response to “Melanie Carol Jones Mellenthin is 33.”

  • Alison Wonderland says:

    Yes, you’re one to talk about someone having a lot of kids. If she has 70 you have.. into the hundreds now is it?

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