The Original Hawthorne.
On my to do list is "Hawthorne's poster for school", which is a little project her room is doing this year. Family, pets, likes, dislikes, that sort of thing. I did a similar one for Walker 2 years ago. So last week, I thought I'd go to Hawthorne Hunt's memorial page and download a photo of her so I could include it. Because it's become clear in the last 15 months that although I'm used to hearing the name Hawthorne (and for a girl, no less), the rest of the world ... or the rest of this part of the world anyway ... really isn't. I thought it'd be nice for people to see that my Hawthorne is named after another Hawthorne.
I was taken aback at the timing of my
random visit when I realized that
the 5th anniversary of Hawthorne Hunt's death was just a couple days
(now, as I finally write this, it was last Friday the 28th). I should
to say "I can't believe it's been 5 years" ... but I can. When we went
to her memorial service it was only months before we'd move away from
for good (although we didn't know it yet) and at the end of one of the
shittiest years we've ever had. A lot has happened in 5 years. A lot.
We chose to name our daughter Hawthorne
because, to us, it's a confident
daring name for a girl. We wanted a name that had meaning for us and
a strong calling card for her. We have many friends and family members
who love her name, several who've politely accepted it, and some
who crinkle up their noses at it -- right in front of me. Anyone who
met her in person thinks she's a boy, based on her name. But we chose
because the original Hawthorne embodied much of what we'd hope for in a
female role model. Someone who is positive and creative and strong and
connected and smart. She had a bunch of tattoos, she was a kick ass
and an incredible artist. When I was leaving Wieden+Kennedy, I wrote
and David a thank you note for letting me work at such an amazing
And I asked Hawthorne to design it for me. I still have it. She formed
the text into a heart and printed it on newsprint and was happy to do
Because she loved working there too.
For the first few months of our daughter's life, I was worried that maybe we saddled her with a name that she could never quite own. I had a hard time actually saying it at first, because it seemed so strange to be using this name for another person ... especially my own daughter. 15 months later, the awkwardness and worries are gone. Our Hawthorne is freakishly strong, just giggly enough (although you have to work for it), feisty as f-ing hell, and she has stars in her eyes and a knowing grin. Who knows if she will be creative, who knows if she will cover herself in tattoos, who knows who she will be as she gets older. I can only hope for the basic things that any parent would hope for: kindness, happiness, and --with a heavy heart and a hopeful soul--good health.