Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Wonder of Wonders November 23, 2013

Grunting. Groaning. Grimacing. Mom has been doing a whole lot of these things lately. “Don’t mock me,” she said tonight (when dad started teasing her about the proceeding grunt), “I’m growing a person here.”

Apparently that person is making basic things-like breathing-very challenging these days. And something has caused the ribs on her right side to be in a great deal of pain. Her doctor person has said this “popped rib” could be caused by a myriad of things relating to the pregnancy, including (but not limited to) the fact that baby Schmidt is currently sideways. My future little person is sideways and kicking on mom’s ribs from the inside.

JoyIt all sounds so awful. And it is painful to watch. Again dad and I stand by, longing to help somehow, but knowing there is nothing we can do. Until today. Today we were all reminded what is happening (albeit it uncomfortable right now) is a pretty spectacular miracle.

A banner told me so. “A Little Miracle,” it read. It was part of the decorations at grandma’s house for the baby shower, which I now know is different from the shower in the bathroom where my people clean themselves. (I was in quite the quandary the last time my people left to go to a shower).

But I’ve since learned my lesson. This is a different kind of shower. This is a type of showering of love on a person (or people) celebrating something special. This is a baby shower. And this time I even got to participate! It was very different than my last baby shower experience, when I relied only on the stories my people shared with each other afterward to understand the happenings of the day. This time I witnessed games and presents and (most importantly) joy. From the ground up, it was everywhere today.

It didn’t take long for me to realize today was about more than the bundle of joy. It was a celebration of the miracle of life. I know it hasn’t felt much like a miracle lately with all the grunting, groaning and grimacing going on. But it’s not about that. It’s about the miracle. The life. My mom is indeed eight months into growing a person. And from what I can tell as an observer it’s not an easy job. American author Norah Ephron went as far as to suggest “if pregnancy were a book they would cut the last two chapters.”

I may not be the one going through it (watching it is painful enough for me), but I can honestly say I can’t even consider cutting the last two chapters. Because it’s a miracle. It’s life. The end is the beginning. And I can’t wait for it to start.

 

You Are My Sunshine October 19, 2013

I learned some things today. Until today a shower has always been that thing in the bathroom where my people clean themselves. And the sun has always been that bright thing that rises and sets upon each day. It turns out there is more to these words than meets the eye.

The day began like most Saturdays, with my forever people doing chores and various tasks around the house following slightly more family cuddle time than usual. Except today they both kept talking about the shower. I didn’t understand it. It felt like every other word was shower and by noon I was incredibly confused. I remained in a quandary when they left me to go to the shower. It’s right here, I screamed in silence, in the bathroom.Sunshine

So you can imagine my stupor when they returned home a few hours later with presents. Lots of them. And (as is the case with most misunderstandings) it turns out I was missing a very important piece of the contextual puzzle. This shower wasn’t like the one in the bathroom. It was a baby shower, which I now understand to be a shower of gifts to help us all prepare for the arrival of my little person.

Mom and dad shared stories of the afternoon while they revisited each of the gifts. The story that stuck with me most was of two of my favorite little people (Sophie and Abigail) singing a song I hold dear to my heart with my mom’s friend Dorian.

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray…you’ll never know dear how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.”

Once I got over the initial disappointment of missing the in-person show, these famous words (by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell) sunk a little deeper into my heart. As I sat by watching my people I was overcome with my own sense of gratitude for the situation.

They are my sunshine. My forever people will never know how much I love them, partially because I can’t say so out loud and partially because you can’t put love this big into words. And (at least from what I can tell) amongst the blankies and diapers the greatest gift of all was the love they received today.

I guess you could say they were showered with love. And I was overcome with joy. From the ground up, it was a pretty happy day around here. All of the clouds in the sky could not mask the sunshine in these moments. Joy and gratitude filled their hearts and I realized that is all the sunshine I really need.

I learned some things today. It turns out there is much more to showers and sunshine than meets the eye. Today these words did much more. They touched the heart.