This won’t come as any surprise for most of you: the Mexican culture as a whole loves children. This has been obvious during our experience here for lots of reasons, more than I can name or even recall. A few recent experiences made us think we should write a blog post about it. Neither story I’m about to tell is groundbreaking whatsoever, but they illustrate the Mexican love for children.
During Carrie’s closing of the bones experience there were three midwives: Maria, Francesca, and visiting midwife Miriam, who was not at the birth but has attended a few of the postpartum visits. Each time she has brought along her own baby, beautiful little Iyari (pictured further below). In the background of the many videos I took during the closing of the bones you can hear Iyari chattering or requesting her mama. Everyone is different, but we suspect in the US this wouldn’t usually happen, that the person getting the massage would expect complete silence and might be put off by having a child in attendance. We, on the other hand, love it. There’s a level of inclusiveness and concern for children that we haven’t seen before in other countries. Sure, if you schedule a massage not associated with birth or pregnancy, it might be kind of weird for the masseuse’s child to be there. But if the whole thing you’re working on has to do with children, why not include children?
Next example: Restaurants. Years ago, before we had kids, we went out to eat with our friends Steve, Jillana, and their infant son Logan at a Mexican restaurant in the US. During our meal the waiter picked up Logan and walked around with him, even taking him to the kitchen, while we enjoyed our dinner. This gave us Americans a good laugh, of course not being used to this sort of thing. As I’m writing this post I’m sitting in a hotel in Tapalpa (more on that in a future post.) This morning at the hotel’s (amazing) breakfast the waitress asked to pick up Frida and walked around with her for awhile, showing her to all the kitchen staff while we ate. Last week Carrie read a New York Times article about Guadalajara (good read) and wanted to walk by a restaurant the article mentioned that has animal bones for its decor. It’s a high-end, classy sort of place. A security/greeter guy was outside and I started talking to him. He quickly welcomed us to enter. We politely declined, casually stating we’d go sometime without the kids. He immediately reassured us that kids are more than welcome and many families eat there all the time. This is a broad stroke of the culture brush, but my gut told me that a similarly exclusive restaurant in the US would not be excited at all about having kids in the establishment. We’ve been to many restaurants in Mexico when toddler meltdowns have happened (I won’t name any names, but we only have one toddler.) No one really blinks an eye. It’s a great feeling.
Here’s lovely little Iyari at Carrie’s closing of the bones…