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Setting the record straight — a tale from my early childhood
Apple Pie and SalsaOctober 10, 2012 | 1,183 views | Post a comment
She was in the news again recently -- the woman who a few months ago appeared on the cover of Time Magazine. She was openly breast-feeding her 3-1/2-year-old son while he stood on a small chair. She caused quite a stir in the media. After that, there was a story of military moms posing for photos while breast-feeding their babies. There was some controversy about that. Some claimed it was against military rules, while others defended them. And there have been countless numbers of sightings of mothers nursing their babies in public places -- an act that has been called disgraceful. (I’ll bet some of those people don’t see anything wrong with women wearing such low-cut dresses that leave nothing to the imagination.) Each time I read or heard something like this I would think to myself that I should tell my story. But I held back because it would be embarrassing. But when a child of mine tells one of my granddaughters who is nursing her baby “Grandma knows something about that; she nursed until she was six” -- well I have to set the record straight.
I should have never told Henry the story that Mamá told me. The story goes that Mamá was at a vigil at a relative’s home out in the country for someone who had passed away. She had me with her. I was 3 years old. Supposedly I started whining and when a relative asked what was wrong, Mamá told her that I wanted to be fed. (I won’t say it in Spanish.) When the other woman asks why she doesn’t feed me, Mamá replies that I am embarrassed. So she tells her to take me to another room, which she did. So that’s what I know -- that I nursed till the age of three. How long past three I don’t know, but it wasn’t six like my husband would have our kids believe. So now you know the truth about me.
The mother that I started writing about appeared this time on the cover of another magazine breast-feeding her now 4-year-old son, flanked by her husband and 5-year-old adopted son. She claims that she herself was breast-fed until the age of six. She admits to letting her 5-year-old nurse as well.
Once I asked Mamá why she let me nurse for so long. She told me that it was because I was her baby, and she tried keeping me a baby. She even held me back from going to school until I was seven. As for Jamie Grumet, the mother on the magazine covers, I wonder what her diet is, to keep up her strength.
Julia Castro, a retired Head Start teacher and mother of 10, lives in Floresville with her husband, Henry. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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