Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

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.