Ms. Baldwin first visited Spain with her parents when she was a baby, she said, and she went at least yearly thereafter. She declined to explain in detail how frequently they traveled there or how long they stayed. “I think it would be maddening to do such a tight time line of everything. You know, sometimes there was school involved. Sometimes it was vacation. It was such a mix, mishmash, is that the right word? Like a mix of different things.”
When the family visited Spain, they spent much of their time in Madrid, Seville and Valencia, she said.
When they were at home in Boston, Ms. Baldwin said, the family spoke Spanish and cooked Spanish food. Family friends from Spain would often live with the Hayward-Thomases for extended stays when visiting the United States. “When we weren’t in Spain, we called it ‘we brought Spain into our home,’” she said.
Ms. Baldwin’s older brother, Jeremy, moved to Mallorca, a Spanish island in the Mediterranean. Mr. Thomas and Dr. Hayward moved there as well in 2011.
These experiences explain why the Spanish language, culture, food and traditional dance are so important to her identity, she said, and she and Mr. Baldwin are working to recreate this for their children. “I send them to a bilingual school where they have Spanish in school and I speak to them in Spanish at home.” After the pandemic, she said, she and Mr. Baldwin plan to spend more time with their children in Mallorca.
“My family, this is where they’ve decided to spend their lives,” she said. “I guarantee you they are going to live there and they are going to die there. That’s their home and that’s because this is not something new, no one put a map up on the wall and threw a dart at it and said, ‘Oh, Spain sounds good.’”