When Bo was nothing more than a little jelly bean, long before she had a name of her own, long before we knew if she was a she at all – she was given her very first nickname. Howard.
I was back in Australia for my initial 8 week scans and my mother was giving one of her ever-so-helpful spiels of advice. The topic of the day? Baby names. Names one should not call a baby. Howard was one (my apologies to any Howards out there). And since it was name I was not to name my beautiful baby-to-be, Howard became her name.
For the following seven months Bo was affectionately called “Howie” by my mother, her friends, and eventually everyone I knew including my husband and I. Every now and again whilst she is sleeping I whisper secrets in Bo’s ear, secrets addressed to my little Howie… secrets we have been sharing since I first felt her move inside me, secrets that bind us together.
When Bo was about to enter the world I decided that I needed to pass the nickname Howie on to something that my little one could treasure, so we wouldn’t lose our fondness for Howie at after all. So I made the very first “Howie&Me” on her due date…
Howie slept next to my bed for the many nights I tried to get rest, moving my big Bo-belly around uncomfortably – willing my child with all of my might to enter the world. Howie came with us to hospital. As soon as Bo was placed in her bassinett a few hours after she was born, Howie was nestled in beside her immediately.
Howie has become an important member of our little family. When Bo goes to bed, Howie goes too. When Bo wakes up, Howie get’s the biggest smiles… We have been creating a beautiful little photographic timeline for Bo – in leiu of a baby book – in every photo of Bo, there too is Howie.
Bo is my Howie, and this Howie is hers… I can only hope that owl-howie gives Bo the same feeling of love, purpose and comfort as my little Howie does for me.