Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Beneath the Surface January 28, 2015

It was a quiet sound. Almost like a cat purring. Except it was just loud enough I could tell something wasn’t quite right. And it was coming from dear baby Carter’s room.

It wasn’t exactly a cry. I guess you could call it a moan. It was a sad sound, and it was happening for a while last night. A few hours after it quieted down, there was crying. Then more sleep. Then a bit more crying. And then it was morning. Sleep.

Between the moaning and the tears, it was kind of a rough night around here for everyone involved last night. No one slept well, including me. But today made up for it right quick. It should be noted we were all obviously (more than a bit) tired as we tackled the day. Yet there was something about the day that felt different. Something special was happening, though I didn’t know what until later.

I definitely felt left behind as mom and dad and Carter piled into the car this afternoon. I could tell wherever they were going was a source of much excitement and anticipation. I was right.

When the returned just over an hour later, they had news. Big news. They had all gotten to see my new little person during something called an ultrasound. They had gotten to count ten fingers and ten toes and see the baby’s little nose. They had gotten to find out whether Carter will be getting a brother or sister.

And mom had gotten to breath a sigh of relief about something she had been quietly worrying about. As you may recall, dear Carter was somewhat of an acrobat before he was even born. Always kicking and bouncing and rolling around. Even I could see (and near the end even feel) the action all unfolding beneath the surface.

So far with the new little person, there’s been none of that. Mom has felt very little movement compared to what she had already felt at this point with Carter and it was worrying her more than she let on. It turns out there is indeed a scientific reason for this (something or another about the placenta being in a certain place), and that mom may just feel less this time around than she did with Carter. That wouldn’t be a bad thing as far as I’m concerned, given the grief all that activity gave her in the long run. Beyond that, though, it was a relief for her to know things seem to be progressing well and there is (at least from what they could tell) nothing to be worried about.

I’m not sure what caused dear Carter’s sleep issues last night (though I suspect that nasty thing called teething). Nor am I sure what tonight will bring. But I do know we should rest easy in knowing things are going as best as they can for the time being. And that’s a mighty peaceful thought.

 

 

Like Riding A Bike August 11, 2013

I blame my fairly parent-free puppyhood. My dad left my mom before I met him, and I lost my mom way too early. But that doesn’t excuse my selfish thinking lately. We canines love unconditionally and selflessly after all. Hard as it may be to admit, everything is not about me. There’s a nervous energy in the Schmidt home lately. It makes sense, with a baby on the way and all. But I realized today we have more than that in common. I’ve been pretty selfish, haven’t I?

I’ve been going about this (soon-to-be) big brother gig all wrong. I’ve been so worried about being a good big brother I didn’t think twice about how my people must be feeling about becoming parents. Parents. Yes, that is definitely a bigger deal than being a brother. Sure, all parts make a family whole. But being parents is one of life’s most excitingly terrifying miracles.

This all became startlingly obvious to me today when my parents were agreeing how much they miss biking together this summer. My regularly accident-prone mom is playing it safe staying away from the two-wheel balancing beam just in case her evolving center of gravity should befall her. And I noticed nerves in their conversation that I’ve been seeing a lot more of lately. No More Nerves

I wished I could jump in to remind them my mom didn’t learn how to ride a bicycle until her 27th birthday. It’s not really my confession to make, but I don’t think she’d mind. She grew up like any other child in every other way, but riding a bike was not part of her particular childhood story. I remember the day well.

She and dad came home with an air of excitement us dogs can sense in less obvious things like racing heartbeats and quicker breathing patterns. With them they brought a contraption I learned later was called a bicycle. I didn’t care for this new toy as it seemed to have a directly inverse relationship to my walks around the neighborhood. Instead of taking a walk with me, she would go off on a bike ride with dad.

Bike rides aren’t like car rides. No dogs are allowed on bike rides. But it seemed to bring them both joy, so I gradually let my feelings of disdain subside. Now it’s time to do the same with my nerves about being a big brother.

Because I saw it again today. Mom is already mothering the baby by staying away from something she enjoys that could put him or her in danger. Dad was an excellent (and incredibly patient) teacher with mom learning to ride a bike. Instead of catching the nervous contagion, I should be focusing my energy on reinforcing for my forever family the truth. They’ve already been parents. For three years, they’ve been the best parents a doggie could ask for. I don’t know what they’re so nervous about.

 

A Big Reveal July 26, 2013

I lick the excess water off my forever parents’ legs when they get out of the shower. I eat grass because I like how it tastes. I can’t resist fabrics that smell like my people. I don’t have many serious secrets. This may come as a surprise since my inability to talk renders me helpless in the gossip category, but (like most dogs) I also wear my heart on my proverbial sleeve.Happy!!!!

So please don’t be mad at me. Truth be told, I have a pretty big secret I’ve been keeping in spite of myself. I thought I’d wait until the perfect words came to me. Or the perfect time. Or for time to come to a screeching halt long enough for me to find the right words. Because this isn’t just any secret. It’s life-changing.

But alas the stars have not yet aligned in a way to empower the grand announcement I’d hoped for and I honestly can’t keep it in anymore. It’s like 17th century French dramatist Jean Racine suggested “there are no secrets that time does not reveal.” I’ve waited, and the time to reveal is now.

I’m going to be a big brother!

The dreams I’ve had of becoming a best friend to a little person of my own are going to become reality in a little more than five months. My mom and dad are having their first very own little person!

I honestly think I knew before mom did. (Dogs have a sixth sense about these things). There was an almost immediate change in her heart rate, her smells, and her general persona. Joy. In a word, that’s what this secret contains. So you can imagine it’s been hard for me to contain my excitement about this for so long. But I figured if mom could do it, so could I.

It’s nothing like my other so-called secrets. Who really cares about my obsession with fabrics that smell like my people, my occasional craving for grass, or how I help my people dry off after showers. This is big news. This is life. Joy. Family. I’m so excited to become a big brother, but even more so for my little person to feel the love in this forever home of mine. Mom is home to me, and I know she will be home to the little person. January 16, here we come!

 

I’m So Jealous May 23, 2013

I heard overheard my grandma on the phone today re-living a moment of my forever mom’s life as a little person that is too good not to share. I’m not sure who she was talking to, but my ears perked up at the mention of my mom’s name and I remained a captive audience through the end of the adorable story.

So Jealous

When my mom was a little more than three people years old, she learned she would soon become a big sister. Not knowing much about what that meant, my mom’s biggest fear was that her parents wouldn’t love her as much now that they had to share their love with another little person. She tried her best to mask these feelings, but let’s face it – toddlers aren’t the best at keeping secrets.

But as time went on, her understanding of the word that described her emotions (jealousy) was somehow painted into a much different emotional dimension. My mom heard countless conversations with people who referred to her as if she wasn’t present and actively listening to the conversation. “How is she doing with jealousy?” people asked. “Is she good at sharing?” “Is she getting jealous during all the excitement of planning and preparation?”

Nine months later, when her little sister was born, all concern vanished instantly as she was overcome with emotion. “I’m so jealous,” she said to her baby sister as she stroked her tiny little head with the sincerest look of love in her eyes. The meaning of the word was lost on her three-year-old mind, but she’d heard it so frequently throughout the course of the recent months that she confused it for another word entirely. To her, jealous didn’t mean something negative, but rather was equivalent to joy, happiness and love.

Again, the mind of a little person lights the way to a better, brighter (albeit confused) outlook on life. Optimist or otherwise, t’s no secret to the world that attention is probably one of my favorite things. So much so that I love any and every opportunity to be played with, walked, petted, cuddled with, or any similar activity that provides me the role of being center of attention.

Yet I know in my little doggie heart that someday, if I ever become a big brother to a little person in my forever home, I will be able to abdicate my proverbial attention throne and take on a new role as protector to the newest keeper of wisdom in the house. I know it might be tough at first, just like it was for my mom and her little sister, but I too hope to one day as I look down at the little person and think to myself with nothing by love in my heart how jealous I am.