One year ago today I experienced one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I watched one of my childhood-adulthood-everything in between best friends, give birth to her second son- Bohdi Joseph Hoskins. As a year has come and gone I can still feel the awe I felt watching him take his first breath, and I hope that memory stays tucked into my heart forever. Bohdi was born on a September 23, 2018. The day was sunny and cozy just like him. I remember waiting at my house for the call to come to the hospital, and thinking about what Bohdi would be for this world. His older brother Emerson, Alyssas first born had enriched our lives with so much love and laughter and we all knew he needed this baby brother to grow with. Emerson is all things boy- so we knew his little brother was going to be his person. I wondered if Bohdi would be the balance to Emersons wild, or the partner in crime that seems to be the trend with most Hoskins boys. Through out the year we have found that Bohdi is both. Emerson and Bohdi have an undeniable bond that is most prevalent when Emersons smiling at Bohdi makes him fall apart with the joyful sound of baby laughter. Bohdi is also the snugglier of the two. Most of the time when I see Emerson I try to bribe him into hugging me (typically with promises of donuts), where as Bodhi earnestly gives hugs to the person holding him. I can see how they are so similar and so different, and I love those boys for exactly who they are, and who they will become. NOW onto their mother- Alyssa. SHE IS THE BEST MOM. Seriously. I sit and watch her with her children, and see the life Kellen and her have created for their sons and I am so fucking proud of them. They work hard and are completely present and engaging with their children. Watching them love and interact with their energetic boys makes my heart full of all the good feels. I met Alyssa when she moved to Idaho in fourth grade and we have shared all of the growing up together moments since then. When I met Alyssa she had wild curly blonde hair- which I see in Emerson- and and a laugh that made everyone around her smile. TO THIS DAY one of my goals when I am around Alyssa is to make her laugh, because her laugh always has and always will make me feel special. In part Alyssa laughing makes me feel special because she herself has a wicked sense of humor, and making a funny person laugh inherently makes you funnier? I hope? And god knows she makes me laugh, the kind of laugh that becomes ugly and face distorting. My favorite kind of laughter, because when you finally calm down from the gut busting, you breathe deeply and remind yourself that you haven't laughed like that in a while. And how lucky am I to have friends who bring out that kind of joy?! Alyssa is also deeply empathetic and available as a friend. She feels peoples struggles and without many words can understand what you need. It's a gift, especially to those around her. As a mother, I see her understand her children on a level that is wholehearted. I don't know many people who can sit in the storm of a three year olds tantrum and understand that he is just a little person with big feelings. She is a kickass mother-friend-woman. When she asked Sadie, Leah, and I to be in the room for Bohdi's birth I was honored. But I don't think at the time I knew how precious it would be. Walking into the room that day had a specific feeling that I cannot articulate in a way that will capture the love. Watching everyone in the room- I knew they felt the same way I did. It was powerful to watch Alyssa and Kellen together as Alyssa delivered their second son into the world, and to watch Alyssa's mother-Toni- watch her daughter give birth. And finally to witness Emerson meet his baby brother. It was all love. Watching Bohdi take his first breath was a profound moment in my life. It was precious to watch him start his life, and I will always be moved by the moments in his journey- big and small. I was overcome with so much love on September 23, 2018. Sunshine and crispness to the air, the world welcomed Bohdi Joseph. Happy first birthday you sweet, sensitive, and happy soul. You are so loved.
-Your bonus Auntie Libby.
Big news guys- I got bangs. After much writing and rewriting I have found that there is no tasteful way to announce to my blog that I slightly-drunkenly gave myself bangs, but ya know- It's something worth mentioning. Bangs, much like edibles are something I only do every five years or so to remind myself I can't handle them. You can laugh. On to other things-
Do you ever have a stuffed down hilarious childhood memory that randomly resurfaces as an adult?
Last week the fair came to town, and I went with my friends to walk around with their kids and enjoy the little slice of deep-fried goodness that is the Latah County Fair. We walked around, ran into people we knew, took in the smells (which at moments was the sweetness of cotton candy and at other moments was that of potent pig shit) and laughed as we watched the kids devour all that is the fair. As I was sitting on a slab of concrete and listening to the live music I was hit with a memory of my childhood at the fair. I remembered waiting in line for a balloon animal with my brother and Nan. The details are a little fuzzy, but I specifically remember my Nan telling me she knew how to make balloon animals because she went to clown school. And I know that sounds so crazy that it could be written off as a childhood fabrication or misunderstanding, but if you knew Nan it wouldn't be hard to conceptualize- she was a goof ball in the best way. So I called my brother and he confirmed that this did indeed happen, but he was also unsure if this was just our Nan messing with us. Nan passed away in 2016, and I miss her. It's little memories like this that remind me how she will always sprinkle my life with delight. Dillon also reminded me that there are several photos of Nan in clown attire, but like I said she was a goof ball so she could have been doing that for fun. I have not been able to stop laughing since I remembered this. I also find it so funny because I recall being that age and wholeheartedly believing my grandma went to clown school. I had to try to confirm this with my mom and as I asked her on the phone she broke out into laughter. She was unsure if I was serious at first, but then in her own time began to recall the little tid bits of potential evidence that would lead us to believing Nan may just have legitimately went to clown school. I don't know if she did or didn't, but I think she would find immense joy in knowing that we wonder about it. And I love that we will probably never know for sure.
Libby Anne Groseclose