boo has a name but you’d never know it. “buh-buhh-buuuhhhh baby” i say to him, leaning over his round little tummy. “buh-buhhh baybee” mimcs bitsy, losing her balance and toppling onto his legs.

we took a long time to name bitsy, and even after she was finally named i worried that we’d chosen wrong. so i called her everything but bitsy. tiny bubbles.  booter-bear.

we took just as long to name boo, and i still have the same worry, that his name is wrong (why didn’t we choose the name for “small poet king”? or for “little red one?”).

mae was the only one named before she arrived. the summer before she was delivered i read a charming novel with a lovely refrain, and when my water broke that fall and we were able to choose expectant management i lay in bed, the rhythm of those words thrumming in my ear. i couldn’t remember the actual words, but there was the rhythm, over and over. and just like that, it came to me: mae’s name. i told mac, and i told him we didn’t have to name her this name if she lived, but for now this was her name. and it was, it was her name, it is still her name, it is perfect.

but boo is baby to me, even though he has a beautiful name that i love.

and then this week, in my bedtime reading, this:

They never called him by his name. He was ‘the baby’ to both of them. The only baby, the light of the world.

and this:

This baby was everything, he was emporer of the world, he was the world.

that’s so, i don’t know, right  somehow. and so baby boo remains.