Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The truth about Allie and Boo

When I first started blogging I was a little nervous about the world of blog. Who would I meet, how much should I share, would anyone even read my ramblings? I also wondered on the fairness of outing my children's lives. Was it fair to them to tell the world that they are awesome but have bad days? Is it my place to tell some one in Australia (no offense, Bron!) that Allie had a bad day at school or that Boo had a meltdown?

Also, my husband think the internet is the devil and Facebook it's spawn. That probably colored my thinking.

However I knew that Boo's experiences were important to share. I knew that OUT THERE I would find some one, any one, who had the same what the heck am I doing  approach to life. Turns out I first met Kristi and then Joy and then a host of other characters (admit it, you are all characters). You don't have to have a child, or a child with special needs, I just knew that I could reach out and help just one person not have to go through the uncertainty I lived through. I also hoped I would find some one out there that would tell me THIS is what Boo has, THIS is why she is so delayed.

Hey, if the science isn't there the community might be.

If I touched just one person this blog would have been worth it. But I didn't touch one person, I made connections with so many that this blog evolved into something more. More than Boo. More than a Mom who suffered from holy crapness. More than the tale of how Allie's love for Boo transcends and teaches others that sometimes a person is just a person and all the labels in the world do not matter.

I found an extended community and began to feel weird that I wasn't reaching out to those who love and actually know us if they saw us in the grocery store.

Then I decided to come out of the blogging closet. If felt wrong somehow to be hiding Boo's accomplishments and stumbles from those who could have immediate impact. Her therapists, her friends, her family, her teachers. The people who might read this blog and say "Hey Kerri let's try this...."

What I never imagined, though, is that I would actually meet my virtual friends or that real life friends would start calling them Allie and Boo.

I know most of you have guessed that Boo isn't her real name but neither is Allie. Boo came from when she was in the NICU and I used to say, I know you have a Boo Boo but I am going to make it better (yep, I thought I was all knowing back then). Boo was my secret name for Bridget because in my heart I knew she was more than the Boo Boo. I knew that she would be awesome and spectacular. I would whisper to her, you are my Boo. Maybe not perfect in the conventional way but in the mom way. I love you and will cherish every moment of the time you are with me. This was before I realized she would survive the NICU. It was also during the moment when a NICU nurse asked me her name and I spaced. In my defense I was working on having a C-section 4 days before and about an hour sleep since then. I remembered the little girl in the Monsters Movie, Boo. She was afraid but not only overcame her fear she kicked butt. Bridget became my Boo.  If she could be brave at just a week old, I could suck it up. When I created this blog Boo was the natural name to call her.

Allie though, was different. Allie was Bridget's approximation of her name. I know, I should have chosen Sunflower so that you would know that is not her real name. But I never imagined a time when one of you would meet her in person. I was trying to protect her identity and her privacy, to some extent.

But then I came out and someone called her Allie. She was kind of like, my name is....Then I met Kate and she gave me a weird look when I was telling a story to her Joe and realized I had never clued her in that Allie's real name is something different.

I asked Kate what she thought about me coming all the way out with the girl's names. She said that I have such an honest blog that it would be natural for me to use them. But that I would have some explaining to do! After all I use mine and David's real name. I put everything out there, the good the bad the ugly and trust all of you not to judge but to offer advice and support. Why wouldn't I trust you with the girl's names?

So as of today, I may still call Bridget Boo. Sorry it is just kind of natural for me. But Allie will be her own person, just as she is in real life.

Friends, let me introduce you to Abigail or as she likes to be called Abby. The best big sister Boo could ask for and she is kind of a cool if sarcastic daughter as well.


  1. Whatever her name is she really is just adorable and such pretty little girl. Glad to finally leaner your girls real names, but guess it never mattered to me, because I just love reading about your life with them. Beautiful names though and that picture of Abigail (Abby) had me smiling ear to ear!! :)

  2. I know we haven't, you know, met, but I am glad that I did find you via blogger. I am still not sure how I got to your blog, but I am glad I did. I feel like I know you even though I don't really. I do like you, your blog, and your girls (and their real names are gorgeous!). Sometimes I wonder if I should use made up names for the boys, but the only one that ever had a nickname was Thomas. His was Little Bit because that's what I called him when I was pregnant with him (we did not find out the gender until birth) and shoot, even for weeks after he was born (husband had to tape a piece of paper with THOMAS on it to the cradle so I would know what to call our child).

    BTW, I just read your "coming out of the blogging closet" post; I am going to go post on it now.

  3. The big reveal!!! It wasn't as scary as you thought, right? Love the photo of Abby- she looks so proud!

  4. That picture of Abby is too cute!! And somehow I already knew her name was Abby, so this didn't come as a surprise to me...I believe you might have mentioned it in an email, and I didn't think anything of it! I totally, one hundred percent understand the privacy thing, as I am still kind of on the fence as well. I don't post any current photos of myself on my blog for instance -- just pictures from my early childhood -- and I still have only showed a couple of "real-life friends" my blog. Nobody from my family knows about it, and I'm not sure what to do about that. It's tough to know how much to share, and I think it's something that comes gradually.

    I second Janine's comment though -- while I think it is wonderful that you're now using your girls' real names, it never really mattered to me either. Your entire family is simply amazing, no matter what their names are!

  5. I wondered why you called her Boo. I'm glad you told us. The image you told about whispering to her in the hospital is precious.
    I never could have predicted the number of people I would meet when I started blogging. It is a wonderful community.
    Your blog, along with Kristi's and a few others I read, touch more than just parents of children with undiagnosed challenges. As I read of your life, I learn. I learn how to be less judgmental, I learn how to actually help. I am humbled, and I am a better person because of it. Thank you for writing, regardless of what you call your girls.

  6. When Maggie was fist diagnosed, I asked every doctor and therapist about support networks for mothers of children with genetic deletions. No one was able to give me a satisfactory answer. I tried different ways of finding that support with no luck. Then I discovered your blog and Kristi's and so many others. Blogging has turned out to be the support network I was craving. Thanks for sharing your kids' names. Mine are Maggie and Leo.

  7. I have kind of felt the same way you do. Is it right to share such intimate details about our kids? Bethany does not comprehend the impact of the internet and she can't give me permission to write about her. I wonder sometimes if writing about her is exploitative in any way. In the end I feel as if her story is an important one to tell and I'm careful about what I choose to post about her. I always consult with my other kids before I write anything about them. I started out using fake names and then kept forgetting to use them, so I came out too!

  8. I know how you feel about protecting your girls. I use my girl's middle names for that very same reason.

  9. I love the nickname Boo! So cute! Abigail is a beautiful name, and I can definitely see how Boo got "Allie" out of that!

  10. the only thing i like better than reading your blog posts, is reading your facebook posts and realizing how un-sporty i am! love the names you chose for your girls, and those yellow lockers rock!

  11. Thanks for sharing the story behind the girls' nicknames on here. How often did you type Abby before realizing you needed to backspace and spell Allie? :) When I started blogging 7 yrs ago I had no forethought about changing their names; I was just making my blog for friends and family since we are military and didn't close by to anyone. By the time I realized other people were reading and I was making all these connections (and we've had several IRL meetings too) it was too late to think about changing their names for the blog.
    I can't believe Abby has a locker! Kayla's school goes up to 5th grade but they don't have lockers until middle school.

  12. By any names your girls are precious, Kerri! It's timely that you wrote this - when I met Kristi last weekend I showed her a video my kids made for her telling her their real names. If I'm going to talk to someone in person, I want to use their names. But my daughter in particular does not want her name on my blog, so I'm going to keep calling her Gwen. Which, by the way, is nowhere close to her actual name. So you just have to meet me in person to find out what it is! The Cape, maybe?

  13. Nice to officially meet you, Abby and Bridget!


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