Long before Haloumi came to be known as Haloumi, in the week I found out that I was pregnant, there was a song playing on the radio which made me cry secret soggy tears of joy. The chorus was “Baby… Maybe I see you in my eye… Maybe I’ll see you in time”* and it perfectly summarized that hesitant, contingent excitement of a positive pregnancy test. Maybe this meant we were having a baby – maybe our hearts would be broken. All these possibilities held within a tiny sesame-seed-sized something deep inside me. One of the first arabic words El Prima taught me was “aaineh” – literally meaning “my eye” but also “my darling” or “apple of my eye”. So when I heard those words, “Maybe I see you in my eye”, it was as though I was just starting to picture the possibility of a Haloumi – in my mind’s eye and with it, in my heart.
I hunted the song down – it was “Summarize” by Little Birdy – and El Prima bought the album for me when it was my birthday the week after our positive test. And today, on the train, I played it – with one headphone in my ear, and the other pressed to my belly for Haloumi to hear. Who knows whether kicking means Haloumi likes it or doesn’t like it, but it definitely got a reaction.
I’m still in that process of trying to picture this new “you” forming within me – a separate little someone – and all the possibilities that come with that. I know now that Haloumi is not a figment of my mind’s eye – even if something terrible and unnameable happens this will have been real – I will have had these little responses – this chance to meet and love and know Haloumi. I don’t mean to be morbid – and I know that our chances of the terrible and unnameable things is very very low, but this is my way of enjoying exactly what I have and hold here and now – without pinning my present happiness on a future possibility. Of course I am full of excitement about what I hope lies ahead for us. But at the same time I know what a powerful and unpredictable creature the future is – it feels foolish to emotionally second-guess it, even if we still need to plan pragmatically for it.
* And when I listened to the song after writing this, I realised that the words actually say “I see you in my mind” – not quite sure why I heard it as “eye” but there you go. In the fine tradition of “Cheap wine and a three legged goat”, “she’s got a chicken to ride” etc… (but not as funny)
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