My Sweetest Ayinza,
It’s funny how time flies by. Very often, when experiencing something truly magical, we tell ourselves we will write about it someday. We make a mental note of it and shelve the plans for a time when we can think clearly. Days turn into weeks, then months, then years… And before we know it, we are too detached from the memory to describe it fully (or as much as we could have earlier). And so, in a bid to preserve the memory of your conception and birth, I am writing you these letters. Your mother and I agreed to make the story of you public because ultimately, an unread story is nothing.
And you, my dearest, are everything.
So here are a couple of pictures and a story to follow.
This picture was taken on the 9th of November 2018 at 7:35 pm. It was the day I first heard about you. I had spent the entire day at home, oscillating between the kitchen to get something to eat and our bed from which I was reading and working on the laptop. Your mother had gone to work early morning as usual and I was expecting her to return home at about 6 pm. It had been a surprisingly warm, late autumn day and I was in the mood to eat out. At about 6 – 6:30 pm, I heard your mother open the door downstairs. I waited a while, assuming that I’d soon hear her footsteps as she made her way up the stairs and into our room.
Instead, I heard some noise in the kitchen. Because she almost never gets into cooking mode before coming to the bedroom to change or take a quick shower, I figured I’d wait for her to come up and I try to convince her to go out (yes, your mother has always been like that. If she comes home planning to cook, you need to be on your A-game to change her mind). I waited for what seemed like a very long while. At some point, I thought to myself, what if what you heard wasn’t Diana but some thief that had broken in (funny unrelated story: earlier that year, we had lost the main door key and had to get a replacement. We’d always joked about someone one day coming and calmly opening the door, finding us seated and telling us to stay put as he proceeds to pack up our stuff. And then having to explain to the police that they didn’t break in).
Anyway, eventually, your mother came up. I hugged her, asked her how her day was and then asked if she wanted to eat out instead of cooking. She said yes, but that she also had a surprise for me. Apparently one of my brothers had sent me something, but I needed to be blindfolded as I was being led to it. Oh and that said brother had insisted she captures the whole thing on her phone video. I should have known at that point that she was lying. My brothers? Coming up with such a cheesy idea? Forget it! (Sorry Isharaza Musiime, Mwebaze Isharaza and Mwesigwa Bikie Isharaza) Mpozzi Mirembe.
Anyhow, I agreed to play along, was blindfolded and led downstairs, past the living room and into the kitchen. I was then told to open the oven.
At first, there didn’t seem to be anything there. As I bent further, I saw a tray. With a bun on it. I took it out and frowned.
“Huh?” I asked.
“That’s your present,” your mother replied.
I laughed. My love for bread is a running joke in the family.
“Who gave me this present?” I asked, my mind already zeroing down on the most likely suspect (sorry Uze, you were top of the list).
“So,” my wife continued, “what does that mean? What is that?”
“All I can think of is Burger King,” I replied.
I know Netanya, I know. For now, this guess must make no sense at all to you. What with all the broccoli, sweet potatoes and bushera you eat like there’s no tomorrow. However, in the years to come, dear child, you will come to find out exactly why the first thing that comes to your father’s mind when he sees a bun is Burger King. You probably will possess the same logic, especially after you have tasted their Bacon Double Cheese XL. For now, just keep reading.
“No, what is it, literally?” your mother quizzed
“It’s a bun,” I responded
“Where have you found it?” she asked.
“In the oven,” I answered. My heart racing to try and catch up with my mind that was connecting dots I dared not think about.
“What does that statement mean?” she asked?
I looked at her. My eyes caught up with my heart, which had just caught up with my mind. The three clicked. No, it can’t be. It couldn’t be. I looked up at my wife of 7 years and asked what my mind was begging my heart to comprehend.
“Babe, are you pregnant?” I asked.
I dashed to embrace her in a mother of all embraces.
We cried in thanks for all the false positives that had led us to you.
For all the actual positives that had led us to you.
For all the waiting and praying and hoping and wishing.
For the anger and fear, the mistakes made in thought and action.
They were tears of joy Ramya. Infinite joy.
Your mother stopped recording and we kept in that embrace for what seemed at once eternity and a second.
Finally, when I had the presence of mind to let go, I had questions beyond number. When did she know? how did she know? Was she okay? Did I squeeze her too tight? Any signs and symptoms?
It turns, your mother first heard of you several days before telling me. She, along with our very dubious/devious doctor decided they needed to sit on it for a while.
We did go out for dinner that night.
To an Indian restaurant not too far from where we lived. I had always told my wife we should try it out. She had always agreed. Yet for the two years we had lived in that area, we had never been.
We went for you Netanya.
To celebrate you.
From that point on, our lives were changed.