Baby Howie

The Structural Significance of Baby Howie

Inside: Lessons learned from a garage baby doll that you might think of as we creepy, and we think of as family. Which is creepy.

My husband and I moved into our house in 2011.

Since that time we have made our house our own, managed through it’s idiosyncrasies, and thoroughly enjoyed the fact that 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.)

Christmas Tree
I can’t think of a better reason to make the biggest investment of your life.

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.

Marry Someone Who Gets You

When you move into someone else’s old house you assume that they will take all of their stuff with them.

However, the family who lived in our house before us didn’t TOTALLY do that 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. Plus they had offered to leave their snowblower and ride-on lawnmower 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 beer can we eventually found in the wall), 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.

Baby Howie
Aww, you thought I was making a weird joke, didn’t you? That’s cute. But no. He’s totally real.

That’s a Load Bearing Howie

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.

Career Lessons from Baby Howie

I don’t expect you to understand Baby Howie.

I can fully appreciate that he’s not for everyone.

But I do ask is that you understand that Baby Howie isn’t going anywhere and now he’s officially part of your life too. Perhaps in a creepy way, but hopefully in a lasting career advice way.

The career lessons from Baby Howie are threefold:

Be Yourself

A lot of people think Baby Howie is terrifying. I know that. But this is also one of the most-read posts on my blog.

Be yourself. Not everyone is going to like it, but that’s okay. Some people will! And being you, authentically you, might be exactly what leads you down the road to success.

Go with the Flow

Not everyone in your life is going to follow through like you would have hoped. Things might not pan out like you had planned. If something in your life is going off the rails then it definitely makes sense to grab the steering wheel and change direction.

But when there are things you can’t change, try to go with the flow. Accept the fact that people made decisions you don’t understand, and now there is a baby doll in your garage. See where that takes you. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Find a Good Partner

Whether you are starting your own business or working as part of a team, find someone who gets you.

My husband and I are dissimilar in a lot of ways, but we understand each other. I get why he thinks Baby Howie is awesome. He gets why I think Baby Howie is awesome.

You will arguably be spending just as much time with the people you work with as you do with your spouse. Perhaps more in some cases. Find people who get you, and you’ll feel right at home.

Read More Marriage Stories:

The Tale of Elliptical Hill

The Roomba Tried to Murder Me

How to Catch a Bat in Your House and Stay Married

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  1. Cool story, Becca. And you are wise. Any attempt at moving Baby Howie could cause the whole structure to collapse. (Cue the Twilight Zone theme).

  2. Oh my lord. This is a perfect mix of creepiness and hilarity. If we ever decide to sell our house, I’m totally gonna rip off Baby Howie.

    1. PLEASE do. If sharing Baby Howie’s story turns into a creepy viral Pay It Forward situation I’m hanging up the keyboard and retiring from blogging while I’m on top.

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