Thursday, August 21, 2014

18 months

 18 months ago we were waiting for Josephine to make her way into the world. While Jeff and I anxiously looked at the clock, counting the minutes to C-time, Jannah-Rae was with my mom getting ready to meet Josie.

I remember the first "Just Josie" book JR and I had purchased. It was at the local Barnes and Noble one winter morning. When JR was little we spent many a mornings walking the streets of the Courthouse-Clarendon corridor up to B&N to meet friends, read and play. The book on the clearance table. It had a red dot and much potential. There were a few copies for grabs, and one was ours. Having loved the book as much as we did, and learning that there was another in the "series" I went hunting for the second one. For a reason I cannot remember I had a personal and intent interest in acquiring both books. I scouted near and far, online and in stores. I made calls, reached out to friends, asked for favors. I finally found a copy in Portland, OR, at "the largest independent used and new bookstore in the world." I ordered it and completed the collection.

Over the years we read both books multiple times. When I got pregnant we decided that whether girl or boy the baby was going to be Grandpa Joe's namesake. And thus Josie became part of the family. For months it was "Josie this and Josie that," until it was actually time for Josie, and then we had a miracle. Josephine quickly became Joseph and Josie retreated into the storybooks.

Eighteen months later JR still tells the tale of how Yousef was supposed to be a girl, how we were going to name her Josie and how she misses Josie. She opens the story by asking mothers with babies if their baby boy was supposed to be a girl or if their baby girl was supposed to be a boy. She then proceeds with her narrative. The mothers then look at me with astonishment and disbelief and ask me to confirm the story. We get the same reaction every time.

It's been eighteen months since JR started telling the story and yet it has not lost one bit of its luster. It's still as fresh and as exhilarating since day 1. Happy 18 months Yousef; we all love you.

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