Christina is eight years old and recently opened her own bakery. The girl makes different kinds of bread. Christina wants to help her family – her father, older brothers, and mother, who was paralyzed half a year ago. As soon as her mother became ill, the second-grader took on women’s chores at home.
“She’s good at it, we’re even shocked. Even now she peels potatoes, boils meat – she skims off the foam, puts salt on it, covers it with a lid,” says Alexander, the girl’s father.
Alexander says: he and his wife, Lyubov, married in 1999 and had three children. The eldest, Boris, is 17 years old, the middle one, Lev, is 14, and the daughter, Kristina, is eight. With the birth of a baby girl, the father of the family decided to restart the business and develop eco-tourism. The couple opened a glamping site “At Sasha and Lyubasha’s”: the wife was engaged in wild herbs, teas and tinctures, the husband led hikes, kept the household in order. He built several shops in the village – a carpentry shop, a packing shop, a sewing shop.
And then they found out that Lyubov had relapsed from oncology. The disease seemed to be defeated, but last August doctors performed surgery again – removed a tumor in the brain. However, her body was badly weakened by the disease and the woman was paralyzed on the right side of her body.
“For five months we were like hell. My wife constantly had to be taken somewhere, and the children, and I, as a housewife, also had to work. Shortly before that I was getting ready to start up the shops, I invested money in materials – they were lying around, we couldn’t produce anything. I think I even went into a depression, despite the fact that I tried to do something,” admits Alexander. “My wife was my left and right hand, she and I moved everywhere together. She was always the only person I could rely on, but now my wife is out of the family business. Hopefully, the kids will be a help. It’s been stressful for them too.”
To reassure the children and get on with their lives, Alexander started having family gatherings. The man admits: he is a very impulsive man, so the conversations were often held in high tones and ended in tears. After one such meeting, Alexander called his daughter with him – in the store.
“We held hands, we were both crying, and she said, ‘Daddy, you’re always yelling, I get a lump in my chest when you talk like that. You’re supposed to explain everything calmly. I said, “Could you tell me how to do it? Christina answers: “Well, I’m small, they might not listen to me!” I promised to help her so that they would listen,” Alexander recalls.
This is how Christina held her first family meeting: she divided responsibilities in a mature way, wrote down on pieces of paper who takes care of the cat and dogs, cooks, cleans, and so on. The father admits that the boys at first tried to ignore his little sister, but he would not let them.
“Then Christina said: “I saw my mother baking bread,” and started baking on her own. Soon we started baking together. Started making different kinds of bread. Such a great team we made,” says Alexander.
And Christina told her father before the New Year:
“I want to bake bread for everyone, open my own bakery and pizzeria.”
Boris volunteered to help his sister: he started a group in social networks, and her father promised to give his daughter a room and buy equipment – a baking machine, a machine for proofing dough.
Alexander admits: he sees that his wife is pleased with the initiative of their daughter and how he and his sons are trying to restart the family business. Lyubov adapted at home, as far as possible: learned to use a leg as a crutch, trying to walk, though with the help of loved ones, then grabs a vacuum cleaner with his working hand, starts to clean, then tries to knead bread herself.
“I haven’t seen such zeal for life as she has. Although no one knows how much time Lyuba has left – the disease is serious. But we do not dwell on this, as long as God will give – and so long she will live,” adds Alexander.