The Fatherhood Chronicles XXIX

Well, it’s happened. Sofie has gotten her first illness. It’s at least a cold, but we’re going in to the doctor this morning to make sure that’s all it is.

I’m heartbroken.

Seriously. Monday night, Sofie woke herself up with a dry, raspy cough. She cried because she didn’t feel good. She coughed because she was crying (and congested). And so it went. What was worse was that her crying wasn’t her normal, full-bodied, both-lungs-to-capacity crying. It was more a whimper. (I’m tearing up again as I write this.) As a dad I felt just one-hundred-percent useless and helpless.

My little girl was suffering, and I couldn’t help her.

I did the only thing I could think of. Grabbing her up out of her co-sleeper, I carried her to our icon corner (newly-ignited vigil lamp still burning quietly), and prayed to the Holy Trinity. I also asked the intercessions of the Theotokos and my patron saints: “Heal my little girl.” Then I dipped my finger in the oil from the vigil lamp and signed the cross on her forehead.

We called the pediatrician on-call–which calmed me down somewhat–and were “reassured” that there was pretty much nothing we could do. Run the humidifier. Watch that her symptoms didn’t get worse. And bear her suffering with her.

Actually, he didn’t say that last part. But if I read my job responsibilities from Ephesians 5:21ff correctly, that is what I am to do.

Sofie, for her part, continues to amaze us with her sweetness. Bad as she feels, she always has a smile for mommy and daddy. She plays like she normally does. No extra fussiness to speak of. Thankfully, her nap-times are longer and deeper. God is taking care of her. Her angel watches over her.

To think, this is only her first illness, and, apparently, little more than the common cold. This dad has some toughening up to undergo, that’s for sure. In the meantime, pass me another hanky.