We had our tenth baby. The rhythm of family life slowed down for a while. The baby filled our thoughts. When I was younger, I thought the life of a big family is routine, work and struggle. I have been astonished to find that there is so much more to family life. There is certainly a lot of work, but there are also a lot of people. When one of our teenagers picks up the baby, the moment is almost holy. My wife and I can only step back and watch the encounter between adolescence and infancy. My wife says that those moments make her realize how important it is to slow down and pause.
I was listening to our school-aged children and toddlers practice singing while I tried to make our second youngest child settle down for her nap. The children were practicing for the baby’s baptism. My wife was playing the accompaniment and giving advice to the choir. Five-year-old Benjamin got carried away and sang so loud that neither of the child nor I could fall asleep. But I still enjoyed the situation. I could sense my wife’s smile when she proudly looked at her son. This boy sang louder than a regiment of soldiers. Maybe that is why he is particularly fond of singing to the tune of military marches.
While I am writing this, there is only one day left to the baptism. We are tidying the house and the yard for the festive occasion. Our teenagers are setting up beautiful lanterns outside. They will light up the yard and welcome our guests. This celebration will be significant for us. Some of the baby’s godparents are friends from our youth, who now live farther away. It felt good to ask these friends to be escorts for our baby and our family. One couple used to be our neighbors. Their children are still dear friends to our children. Grandparents are also eagerly awaited guests. The baby’s baptism will be a memorable event.
Can the tenth child consolidate our marriage? I present this question to myself and my wife. My answer is: This child has strengthened in me the desire to do things together. When our second youngest gives me a big hug while my wife is feeding the baby, I realize the significance of my role as a father. I look gently at my wife. In return she looks at me in the way that I remember so well from the time when we were courting. That look says everything.
My wife’s answer to my question was this: A new life touches one’s heart deeply and gives a special feeling to home life. Daily chores increase when there is a baby in the house, but at the same time we are reminded of the most important things in life. My spouse, the helper sitting opposite to me, seems dear and important. We are mother and father to the baby and all of our children, but also husband and wife – each other’s most important escorts.
She continued: Some people may wonder if all children in a large family can feel loved. My experience is that the more you share love, the more love you seem to have. The spouses love each other and their children. The love between siblings is extraordinary and touching. Living and working together, aiming at the same goal, we will take care of our family under God’s blessing and guidance.
Kristillisyytemme toiminnan eräs perusarvo on vapaaehtoisuuden vaaliminen. Toiminta on vapaaehtoista myös taloudellisesta näkökulmasta, sillä se pohjautuu lahjoitusvaroihin. Toiminnan organisoiminen auttaa tehtävien ja vastuun jakamisessa. Jotta rauhanyhdistys toimii, se edellyttää jäsenten sitoutumista, vastuun ottamista ja luottamusta.