Friday, June 8, 2018

Who is Bo?

Me and my father Bo in Sweden, April 2018.

Luca Bo, Nelly Bo and Emmy Bo in Sweden 2015.

Nelly Bo, Luca Bo and Emmy Bo.
Me, Emmy Bo, Nelly Bo and Luca Bo in summer 2013.
Nelly Bo, Luca Bo, Emmy Bo... Charlie Bo... Who is Bo? Is Bo a middle name? Is this a family thing? Is it cultural? Tradition? Or is it just a nickname?

Some questions reappear in my inbox and commenting field over and over again and this is one of them. Bo is the name of my father and his father (my grandfather) was also named Bo. So, for me, growing up in a divorced home with my mother, I've always been very keen on the connection to my roots on my father's side.

My father is a Rosendahl. I was born a Rosendahl, but at age 7 it was changed to Söderberg because of the simple reason that this was my mother's maiden name (she changed back to it after the divorce) and her new partner, my step father Rolf, his last name was also Söderberg and so it was more convenient if I was a Söderberg too. Makes sense I guess... However, when I turned 18 I changed back to my maiden name Rosendahl. Quickly. To make a statement. I was officially a grown up and now I could choose who I wanted to be. And I chose the connection to my father. Maybe because it was a piece of me missing in this family construction and this was my way to fill that missing piece. I'm not sure... It is kind of funny how a name can be such a strong part of your identity... By changing my name I felt more complete. I became Annette Rosendahl. Someone I always wanted to be.

Many years later I gave up my maiden name and got married into the Ciccarelli family. I had children and although being a Ciccarelli was great, I wanted a connection to my family tree for all my children. This was very important to me.

In Sweden it is not uncommon to have two middle names or even three, and so I chose one name from my husband's side of the family and one name from my side of the family for our children. I picked our mothers' names for the girls and our fathers' names for our boy. And so Luca became Luca Bo Magnus. He soon got the nick name Luca Bo. Mainly used by Jay. Because it felt good in the mouth to say. And for some unknown reason we added Bo to the girls too for the very same reason. Bo became a playful nickname, adding a feeling of extra much love, cuteness, goofyness and a sprinkle of childish innocence... And because of this, now all three are Nelly Bo, Emmy Bo and Luca Bo. And even the cats are Charlie Bo, Izzy Bo and Maya Bo every now and then... But officially it is only Luca who really is a Bo in my family. Part from my father Bo, of course. And my big brother... Forever and ever connected. That is the story about Bo.


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  1. Det var den gulligaste historia jag läst på länge. ��

  2. Hi Annette,
    What a great story about Bo. It's amazing how you put so much thought into that.
    I also have more than 1 name. I got my the name of both my grandmother's. One of them I didn't get to know because she past away long before my parents knew each other.
    Again. amazing story.
    Have a nice day.

    Sweet greetings,

  3. Thanks for sharing this Annette, I have been wondering myself but didn't want to be nosey. Names are a great connection to our roots. All my children have middle names that link them to beloved family members from an older generation. It was particular important for us to choose relevant middle names for our two adopted children, it was the final piece of the puzzle to welcome them in our family. We didn't consider changing their first names because these are part of their identity that they were aware of. It is also nice to have this reminder of birth parents that loved their boys but were unable to care for them and keep them save. Have a lovely weekend. x

  4. Love the family connection, and it's such a sweet addition to their names. Gorgeous photos of you all. CJ xx

  5. I’m so glad you cleared that up! It’s 4:30 am and I’ve been losing sleep wondering who is Bo!!! I’m kidding. I think this is a very sweet story and I bet your father loves it.

  6. Nice to know and I love traditions and this one brings you closer to your dad!

  7. awesome! now i know who is Bo! thanx for the story behind it too; family names ARE important, i always get a little annoyed when they don't spell my name right!
    wonderful family photos of you all
    thanx for sharing

  8. I asked that very recently I think. I thought it seemed like an endearment but I wasn't sure. The story behind it is really cute, thanks for sharing.

    I never felt affiliated to my dad, so I would not have chosen his name and I feel more connected with my mum's side of the family. I am divorced and kept my married name so I would have the same as my daughter. My daughter has spoken about changing her name but if she did it would be to change from her dad's name to my maiden name. Most probably we will both keep to my married name out of habit. My daughter and I are all to each other, and there is no other family sentiment so although there is a middle name it is just one I liked.

  9. It's so good to know your roots... growing older it gets more value...

  10. Thank you for sharing this with us. It's a nice gesture to your dad and the children.

  11. Lovely Annette. My Dads mom and family are Swedish. They all have many names. Hilda Guarde Katrina. Emma Bertha Henrietta. Ella Willamena. On and on.

  12. Great story! The kids will love that link even more as they grow older. Absolutely love the silhouette photo - it could be a wonderful painting!

  13. Your children are so beautiful Annette!
    bestest wishes
    Ashley xx

  14. Men! Vad mysigt! Bo passar ju faktiskt in tillsammans med många namn!
    Jättegullig familjegrej!


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