July 13, 2008
We realised the enormity of a parent's responsibility the moment Che was born. We had visualised a dark hairy baby. I birthed a fair, (almost) bald baby. We had discussed a few names that would suit a dark, hairy baby. We hadn't really talked about a name for a blondie. I remember looking at Daniel and asking: "What are we going to name him". And then I asked my baby: "What is your name, little one?".
I do believe that babies bring their own name.
And I believe this because six weeks before my due date I was wandering around a second-hand bookstore and I picked up a gorgeous little hardcover novel titled: "Loving Che". I bought it for Daniel. As a gift. And it sat on his bedside table for the rest of the pregnancy. Sitting there so we occasionally glanced at the words on the cover.
Since I watched this film I have loved the sound of the word Che. The gorgeous Parisian, Julie Delpy, lives in a cluttered studio apartment with her cat, Che. "His name is Che, it's Argentinian for 'hey'," she says.
And I spent a memorable night with friends in London where we watched this and then carried on the South-American theme by enjoying a meal of tapas and paella. The Chilean man I spent the evening with thinks it's a bit strange that we called our son Che because in Argentina it is a word that can also mean 'mate' or 'friend'. To some people in this world we have named him 'friend'. But we're ok with that.
For six days after his birth we cuddled and kissed him and called him 'Bunny' and everyone around us waited in anticipation. Since he first gazed into Daniel's eyes he seemed so interested in the world around him. "He's curious Che" I said. And Daniel replied: "Yeah, curious Che. That's his name."
I know that he will have to correctly pronounce his name (with a 'ch' as in 'chalk') like I have for the past nine months. I often find myself spelling C H E for people. The general reaction has been one of interest. "Oh, that's an unusual name. Hmmmm, I like it" they say. And perhaps his little friends will keep calling him what they do whenever they see us. "It's Baby Che Che" they squeal in delight.
Yes, he is still curious but I suppose we'll have to wait to see if he's a revolutionary like his namesake.