I was nine years old when I became an aunt for the first time. It was because of the birth of the first grandchild (who was in California) that my parents made the decision to move from Miami to the Left Coast. My dad’s reasoning was that if the bearded dictator couldn’t keep our family apart, certainly a simple thing like Geography was not going to either.
So we moved. And my sisters kept giving birth.
My mom’s gift to the new parents was a rocking chair. "Un balancé." But really, it was kept at our house. Because it was my mom, the new grandmother, who rocked those babies.
Every Cuban baby in my family was rocked to sleep.
She would rock and sing, rock and sing, until that baby sighed deeply, which was the signal that they were asleep.
She would sing about how the beautiful baby who was born in the morning wanted to be taken to the bakery. Or the beautiful baby who was born at night wanted to be taken for a stroller ride. (In Spanish "dia" rhymes with "dulceria" and "noche" rhymes with "coche.") She sang about the sound the little chicks made when they were hungry and tired. "Los pollitos dicen, pio, pio, pio. . ."
When my own babies were born, it was a given that the first thing I needed (besides Agustin Reyes Agua de Violetas!) was a rocking chair, and almost unconsciously, I, too rocked and sang, until they sighed deeply and let me know they were sound asleep.
Being a mother, to me, is synonymous with holding and rocking and rocking and singing. I would sing, too, about those hungry and tired little chicks saying, "pio, pio, pio."
Imagine my delight to find that there was an inspired and talented Cuban company out there called Los Pollitos Dicen that had baby tee designs that captured those sweet Spanish baby sounds! (Just like the lullaby! How cute is that??)
I got to know Carrie via the internet when she Googled "Cuban baby tees" and found me and Cuba To GO! were her competition. (I use the word "competition" very lightly. Los Pollitos Dicen offers a unique and high quality product. I am awed by the simplicity and beauty of their designs. My stuff is more silly and fun in a more generic Cuban way. =D) We have forged a friendship based on mutual respect and the familiarity of being raised in our inimitable Cuban culture and of being intimately acquainted with the Cuban-nagging sport of "el tiki-tiki." 😉
[WARNING: Shameless plug ahead:]
If you have a little Latino baby anywhere on your radar, or you just want your baby to be culturally hip =D, please go to this link.
(Note to Carrie: you owe me leche condensada for this. =D)