Babies in Panama are a family affair. New mothers are never isolated, as they sometimes are here. A new mother is surrounded by older women who help her care for her baby, and often, help care for her. There is always someone to hold and rock and soothe a fussy baby. The corollary, of course, is that everyone has an opinion about the mothering skills of the new mother. But that is typically outweighed by the tremendous amount of support that new parents get, and the strong sense of family that a new baby like Axel will grow up with.
Axel is now two weeks old, and thriving.
Gloria had an immensely impoverished childhood in a material sense, although her parents were loving. Often, she and her eight siblings went without anything to eat for days at a time. She became pregnant and dropped out of school in sophomore year, and her life seemed to get harder and harder. Finally, she met Luis and they formed a stable and loving relationship. Now she has a home, enough food, a husband who loves her, three grown sons, two daughters in law, and four grandchildren.
I think she looks happy, and content, and proud, and I’m glad.