Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

What You Do June 3, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:42 pm
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It happens a lot. Mom gets these ideas of how things “should” be in her head and then finds herself absolutely devastated when things don’t go exactly as planned. The thing is, she doesn’t always even share her plans with the rest of us. So it ends up being kind of a free for all trying to figure out what to do. No one who truly loves her ever intends to let her down.

Wiley and CarterYet I think that’s what happened today. It came out of nowhere. One minute, she was laughing with dad¬†over dinner. Carter was playing happily in his activity center. I was minding my own business on the living room rug.¬†Everything was fine and dandy. But it didn’t take much for things to head south. Quickly.

Carter started crying in the tired way he does. So mom did what she thought best in that moment and (instead of the norm of putting him down for his evening nap) attempted to snuggle him. I knew before it even happened it wouldn’t work. Dear little Carter hasn’t enjoyed snuggling quite as much as he used to when he was so very tiny those first couple of months. But I watched it all happen. Carter screamed. Dad questioned. Mom got abnormally upset. And I remembered.

Today is the five-year “anniversary” (if you can call it that) of my beloved forever mom’s loss of her father. I don’t know why, but for some reason five years seems somewhat of a milestone somehow. And I can’t say it’s one that was unnoticed by our family today.

Both my grandma and my aunt Morgan were here at one point or another to say hi to Carter, and (while they both seemed mostly okay) I know them well. Today is one of those days that you try to forget but can do nothing but remember. I could see this in the both of them just as I saw it in mom.

So I did as I said I would do. When I first learned of what today signifies I promised to always do what I could to make it a little less miserable for my dear forever mom. Today was no different. So when the opportunity presented itself, I embraced it. Or I guess you could say it embraced me.

Dear baby Carter hugged me today. Somehow that single isolated moment seemed to bring to life any of the extraordinary expectations she had for today. Because these things happen. She gets these ideas in her head sometimes and when things don’t go quite right all hell breaks lose. It (almost) happened today. But I (like everyone else who love her) had no intention of letting her down.

So I embraced the moment with baby Carter even though he was grabbing so much of my fur that it hurt enough to make my eyes water. It’s just what you do sometimes.

Related posts: http://wileyschmidt.com/2013/06/03/the-grief-tunnel/



The Purest Joy May 22, 2014

It’s kind of a fluke when it happens. Yet every now and then again it does. I smile like a human. So I intend to burst no one’s proverbial bubble by sharing what I am about to say. However, I think someone famous once said something about the truth setting you free.

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Therefore, it is with a heavy heart and light spirit that I share with you my version of today’s truth. Dogs don’t smile like people do. There, I said it. I don’t think it is necessarily a secret, as there are a variety of ways us canines choose to show others the joy in our hearts. And (perhaps most infrequently) it is with what most people would equate with a smile.

Usually it’s a passionate wag of the tail. Or a heavy head working its way into someone’s hand. Or, sometimes, it happens and no person can detect it. That’s part of our doggie charm.

So lately I’ve been taken with something I’ve noticed in baby Carter. When he smiles, the world around him literally lights up. I don’t just say this through the eyes of love either. I say it because it is truth. His smiles are more contagious than any joy I could share. Seriously.

It obviously happens with my people all the time. They walk into a room, he smiles. They talk to him, he smiles. They laugh at him, he smiles. He smiles all the time these days.

But then there are other people. Strangers who don’t know him from any other baby. And here’s the thing. He smiles at them, they smile. They talk to him, he smiles. They laugh at him, he smiles.

That’s not even the best part. The best part is (by far) the fact that all of this smiling is happening in the first place. Again, as the resident ambassador of joy in the Schmidt house I at first found myself at a crossroads. I was happy the little tyke was sharing joy with people, yet I felt a teeny tiny bit jealous. That’s my job, after all.

But today, as I listened to mom and dad relive the happiness they encountered when they took dear baby Carter with them running errands, I was reminded. It’s not about me. Sure, I bring joy to the world in my own unique ways – which do not always involve smiling in a traditional sense – but that’s just how I roll.

Until not that long ago, it was kind of a fluke when it happened. As little as a couple of months ago, when baby Carter smiled, it was few and far between. But now when it happens, it’s magic. Not just for him, but for everyone around him. This brings me the purest joy I think I’ve ever known.