So, you think your life is interesting?

Apologies to the army of faithful readers who have not had any ink from my pen recently. Just been busy. Sorry.

On a much larger scale (bigger than my own ricebowl) some things have been happening, last week especially; but I have bigger fish to fry: D-Day is this Saturday. Yep, we have scheduled a Caesarian Section for the Fourth of July. While I can’t imagine a better day to have a birthday (at least I have never had fireworks for my birthday), Delivery Day is only four days away as I write this. This is the homestretch.

I am fully aware that it is my wife who has been pregnant – not me. What that feels like, the Good Lord evidently felt I was not able to fathom (I bow to His wisdom). So, my side of the coin is different, and I have to work with that.

In his “Reflections on Surviving One Year of Fatherhood,” Peter Freeman (Crisis Magazine, Jun 24) makes the point of the OJT parent, or more specifically the brand new father who has nary a clue what he’s doing. IMHO, I guess I know more; I certainly feel I know a lot more. But, whereas he has completed (survived?) the first year, mine does not start for a few more days. Whether or not The Twins will vault me past him (since his teacher is a single son) is TBD. We’ll see about my learning curve, after all that’s what this series “So, you think your life is interesting?” is all about.

I can say, as I approach the starting line that I am extremely excited. Awe and joy come to mind, as well as thanks for this opportunity. I will miss putting my hand on my wife’s belly and feeling the movement of the little people in there (I am still amazed at how much they move). At the same time, those two “entities” will become hold-in-my-hand persons in a matter of a few days. I will be floating on top of the world.

One thing that will separate his experience from my own is that I am fully employed (gainfully employed, full time, outside the home). However, my employment has a bizarre schedule: 7:30 pm to 7:30 am (yeah: 12 hour shift – at night), seven days on, seven days off. So, during my work week, I am useless; to me, being a zombie is no fiction. Having survived the layoff, I am now commuting one-to-two hours each way. Pretty much traded a job I hated with a short commute for a job I merely dislike a lot with an obscene commute. The week I am off feels like a mini-vacation. In fact, last week, both my wife and I talked about how wonderful it was for me to be home.

Of course, with the twins literally in hand, my work weeks of trying to sleep during the day between the “dog lady’s” hoard of little darlings (aka “King Charles Cavaliers”) being released into her backyard won’t be nearly as restful. And since it will be just my wife and me (for some inexplicable reason, her mother might not be showing up for another month), my mini-vacation week may not be all that restful, either. But, anyone who has worked the night shift for any length of time knows with every fiber of his being what “sleep deprivation” really means.

As to the small details of child-caring, I don’t think there is much I don’t know. Not that I know EVERTYHING – don’t misunderstand. It is more that I know we will be thrown some curve-balls and we will do our best and move on. Changing diapers I can do; trimming fingernails I can’t (I can still vividly remember the first and last time I trimmed my first daughter’s nails: that tiny little drop of blood was far more devastating than the blood-curdling scream).

Nursery rhymes I know, it’s just that I don’t think my voice is particularly soothing. However, I can read James Whitcomb Riley, just like my own father read to us.

I read an article in a formerly respected newspaper on “Sleep Training,” and found the concept unconscionable. My wife and I are on the same page on that one.

I have already made a list of books to acquire (I collect books anyway); beyond Riley there is “Pat the Bunny” and “Hello Moon” (both daily favorites of my first daughter). My goal is to teach the kids to love to read. Teach them to be curious and find their own answers is my motto. Education can be fun, and is certainly more rewarding than mere entertainment.

And, since we have been blessed with a boy and a girl, my wife gets to buy dollies and I get to buy trucks. There is nothing “fluid” about gender in our home.

Curiously, Professor Freeman mentions nothing about faith; I am sorry for him and his new family. Baptism will come soon, attending Mass will be often, and prayers will be daily.

Amen.

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