Text: Pauli Määttä
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
A year ago our son suggested that he could bring his family to live in our home office for as long as they were building their new house. That meant we had to start clearing the room.
Over the years we had stored a large and versatile selection of things in that room. The furniture had come from my workplace. For about 20 years I had been planning to fix some of it, but now I had to haul most of it to the waste treatment center.
And what about the dozens of file folders? They were mostly in a usable condition, but nobody wanted them. And their contents? My lecture notes from 45 years ago. I guess they were a bit outdated. How about my work papers spanning 5 decades? Souvenirs from various trips? And wrapping paper from Christmas presents? The slides from a closet were packed in suitcases and moved to a different room.
Then there were the receipts of our life from the time when everything was printed on paper. I even found a receipt for an excavation project done by our son-in-law’s grandfather. The son-in-law had not even been born then.
Somehow we managed to empty the room, and our son’s family moved in. We had three generations living in the house.
That actually used to be quite common in the old days, especially in the country. The grandparents helped around in the house and on the farm and then enjoyed full-time care when they grew older and weaker. It was a useful way to live, but also demanding.
It was good to have so much space in the house that we could all spend time together, but each person could also enjoy some privacy. My wife and I slept well because we had good walls and did not hear the baby crying. Naturally we had to make compromises. For instance, we had been used to switching off the lights that we did not need. Now we had a three-year-old who switched on all possible lights first thing in the morning and refused to switch them off. We spent a lot of water and electricity, with the dishwasher and the washing-machine doing many loads a day. On the other hand, when we came home from our cabin one day someone had fixed the plumbing that had needed fixing for years.
The cat that we had had for a long time was not used to small children. For the whole year we had to protect the children from the cat and the other way round. Luckily, nothing serious happened.
This kind of joint living had benefits for both parties. When the builders had things to do at the site or needed to go shopping, they could leave the children with their grandparents. We cooked together, and house cleaning did not take long. And we could always leave the cat at home when we went to the cabin.
It was marvelous to follow the children’s development. I guess the bigger one had momentary overloads of social contacts, when all his aunts and uncles and grandparents wanted to hear his funny stories. The younger one was one month old when they moved in. By the time they were packing to leave, she was running around on tiptoes round the house pulling everything out of the closets and cabinets.
Because we were present all the time, the children became quite attached to us. The bigger one said many times a day, “Grandpa, come and play with me!” And we played. I even fixed some of the previous generation’s toys for his use. One of our games was to run round the brick oven. We read the same books over and over again. And I don’t know if it was useful, but Grandpa’s phone contained submarines, flying cars and space rockets.
The younger one ran to me many times a day to be picked up. “Pappa, pappa”, she said. That was her first and only word while they were living here. Three weeks after they had moved to their new home, she had already forgotten all about “pappa” and kept wanting “mummy” instead.
Helmikuussa tuli kuluneeksi 90 vuotta siitä, kun SRK julkaisi ensimmäisen varsinaisen Lasten Siioni -lehden numeron. Sen näytelehti oli ilmestynyt edellisen vuoden loppupuolella. Tarvitaanko kristillistä lastenlehteä edelleen, ja mikä sen merkitys on?
Kirjoittajat eri puolilta maailmaa kertovat siitä, kuinka Jumala on johdattanut heidät valtakuntaansa. Kertomuksia yhdistää kokemus kotiinpaluusta, Raamatun mukaisen uskon löytymisestä ja uskovaisten välisestä rakkaudesta.
SRK:n vuosikirja 2020 kuvaa monipuolisesti aikamme ilmiöitä ja osallisuuden tuomaa siunausta. Se muistuttaa, että Jumala pitää omistaan huolen myös monien uhkakuvien maailmassa.