Lessons on fatherhood

Lessons on fatherhood

Last night I realized some important lessons about marriage, parenthood, and love. First, the reason God gives us two parents is so that when one is so exasperated with you that she can’t go on, she can hand you off to the other. Second, loving your wife can mean staying up all night with a very awake baby so that she can rest between the hourly feedings.

Isabella didn’t get to bed last night until about 1 am. Lately she’s been going down about 10 pm and staying there until about 6 or 7 am. The last week or so, however, she hasn’t been making it through the night and was getting up every few hours with gas pains. (Yes, we are burping her and she is burping, but the pains continue.) Yet last night it wasn’t gas. No, she woke up about 3:30, after only 2-1/2 hours of sleep, doing her moaning and cooing and thrashing that isn’t being upset, but just being awake. And then she ate once per hour and when she wasn’t eating she was thrashing. Poor Melanie was at her wit’s end, until finally I took the baby from her and into the other room about 5:30.

I tried rocking her in the easy chair, but that lasted only about 20 minutes. I took her into the office and put her on the blanket on the floor and let her roll around, while I waited for the Vatican bulletin on the new Boston bishops. I took her into the living room and read on the couch while she alternately sat in her swing and then rolled around on her quilt.

After having kept her occupied for two hours, she was really getting ravenous so I brought her back to poor Melanie to eat and then went to write up my blog post about the bishops. As I was writing I received an email from a friend, Fr. Bob Reed, head of Boston’s Catholic TV,  who is in Europe this week for a meeting of Catholic TV broadcasters. He wanted to make sure I’d received word of the new bishops. I assured him I had because Isabella was so excited about the news that she made sure to be up that early!

The world needs good fathers

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