If ever there was a girl born to go and live in Cuba it is my little Saskia.
All my children enjoy music and dancing like their parents but she has taken this love to an extreme. She lives for music, even when nobody is paying her any attention.
I knew I was in trouble months ago when she used to gyrate to the liquidiser in the morning when I was making her breakfast. A random passing motorbike could get her going, that´s how desperate she was to find a beat. When she went to her first Piñata she was fascinated when everybody sang Happy Birthday. She only likes watching TV when there is musical accompaniment. Do you remember that Abba Sang Thank you for the Music? (go on course you do!) There is a line in it about describing how one of the Swedish popsters could dance before they could walk and sing before they could talk. Well that´s my daughter, she really could dance before she could walk. And now that she can walk she wants to walk right off and find out where the party is ……….
Apart from the fact that she is only 14 months old and can dance Reggaeton with the best of them, she has other things about her that remind me of Cuba. She is always hot hot hot, in fact a little bit sweaty sometimes. She wants to hang out in the calle as much as possible and often is found banging on the front gate of the house or standing next to the car waiting to be whisked off to hang out in the streets. When I take her walking around Antigua in the mornings she shouts across streets to complete strangers waving at them like old friends. She has a certain confidence and languidness that reminds of the Caribbean, saying hey boy I got all the time I want to hang out in the streets looking good and shaking my hips.
So we will dance in Cuba Saskia and I. We will find our groove or in my case get back my groove. Although I find any excuse to get up and dance here in Antigua it is not something that has been in my life as much as in my London, Paris, Barcelona days. In fact the last time I got up and danced here, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a bunch of middle aged po-faced tourists staring at me as though I had just been let out of some hardcore rehab centre, which sometimes isn’t far from the truth. I need dance rehab!! Every year my husband runs the film festival here in Guatemala and always has great bands and DJs and I am sure I am beginning to get a reputation as his crazy wife who makes everyone dance. I can take a while to get those Guatemalans on the dance floor but I am sure I won´t have this problem in Habana!
But back to Saskia my Cubanita. She also loves to talk like many Cuban although right now it is some wonderful language of her own peppered with a lot of Mamas. And she does enjoy food like a Cuban with the enthusiasm of someone who is not sure when they will next be able to get hold of a mango or an avocado or anything right now!
They say children open a lot of doors in Cuba. I think my Saskia will be banging on doors looking for the party. I am just glad that we are not in Cuba 10 years later because the way she dances I might have been leaving Habana an abuelita! (note 1)
But one thing is sure. Saskia will be the Cubanita of the family a walking, talking, dancing doll giving it back as good as she gets. And maybe, just maybe her Mama too!
note 1 abuelita is a grandma.