If Cubans were to read Tolstoy’s or Nancy Mitford’s comments about children they would be mortified. Tolstoy thought offspring ‘’…a torment, and not much else.’’ and Mitford retorted that she loved children ‘’…especially when they cry, for then someone else takes them away.’’ Neither – obviously – were Cuban.
Children here are a central, sacred part of the family
One thing that this country puts above almost all else is their little ones. Their place in the family is central, sacred and you’d better think twice, nay thrice, before saying a bad word about anyone’s progeny – even if the person you’re moaning to doesn’t know them from Adam.
A friend who lives in my barrio has two: a son (mi luna – my moon) and her daughter (mi sol – my sun). The daughter (now 15) still sleeps with her single Mum, despite having her own room: she’s worried her mother might feel lonely. A grandmother I knew would pick up her little pelotas (little balls) each day from school and spoon-feed them whilst they watched lunchtime cartoons. The kids were 8 and 11 years old when I last saw them and their grandparents were still at it!
This week – Easter – the parks are full of little suns and moons as they laugh, shout and jig around – delighting in clowns, bouncy castles, electric cars and side shows. Divine, uninhibited and irrepressible – like kids anywhere in the world.
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