We moved into our house in 2011. It has its issues, but there is a perfect spot for an extra tall Christmas tree, which is really all you can ask for in a home. (That 75% of the reason we bought this house. I actually did the math.)But we have found that the real gift of this house hasn’t come in the form of ample space for Christmas décor, it’s Baby Howie.
When you move into someone else’s old house you assume that they will take all of their stuff with them. The family who lived in our house before us missed that memo and for some reason we skipped a walk through before closing. Probably because we were 26 years old and were simply too proud of ourselves for figuring out how to apply for a mortgage as fetuses to worry much about other details. And they had offered to leave their snow blower and ride-on lawn mower so we were literally distracted by something(s) shiny.
While there are at least 15 reasons I wish we did a walk through (including but not limited to the striped circus curtains left in the living room), Baby Howie is the one reason I’m glad we didn’t. You see, sitting in the rafters of our garage is a baby doll. Drawn underneath the doll on the rafters are a set of eyes looking up. And written under the eyes, “Baby Howie.” Most people think that’s creepy for some reason. Glen and I don’t. (Marry someone who gets you.)We readily accepted Baby Howie as part of the family. The small upstairs bedroom became “Baby Howie’s room” from the moment we moved in. We didn’t bring Baby Howie into the room, prevailing theory is that he is structurally important to our home so we can’t move him from the rafters, but it was his just the same. When guests come over for the first time we proudly bring them into the garage to introduce Baby Howie, because that’s how we treat guests at our home – give them cookies and nightmares.
My two year old recently saw Baby Howie and asked about him so we explained that the doll was Baby Howie and that he lives in our garage. No, we can’t touch him, he has to stay there forever undisturbed. Being our son, Jack has accepted all of that as truth and checks in on Baby Howie’s well being on a regular basis. Every day that our daycare provider doesn’t call me asking about the baby living in our garage is a good day.
I don’t expect you to understand Baby Howie. He’s not for everyone. Just respect the fact that he isn’t going anywhere and now he’s officially part of your life too.
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