Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Every Single Day August 2, 2014

Every year my reaction is the same. “It’s Fish Day!” mom will say. Meanwhile, my mouth starts watering and I begin to pace the hallways of my forever home because I know what this means. And as mom and dad put on their flip flops, I know the journey is about to begin.

As long as I’ve been around my forever family, it means off to Port Washington, Wisconsin we go. It is the home to lots of things, including the birthplace and childhood home of my dear forever father. But on this one special day every year it is the home to so much more. It is home to the world’s largest one-day outdoor fish fry. (Google it if you don’t believe me). And, since it is home to much of the Schmidt family, that means it’s a reason to celebrate.

Because I’m sure everyone has one. A month of birthdays. For us it’s July. In addition to my dear forever mom and several of her pals, her sister and mom have birthdays in July, as well as dear favorite little people of mine Abigail and Sam, and my forever father’s dad Gerry.

So you could say that Fish Day has taken on a life of its own for our forever family. It’s a day when we get together and celebrate by way of eating fried fish, but there is also cake. (Which means there is a little frosting to spare for everyone’s favorite four-legged friend otherwise known as me).

And this year, I was surprised to find even more meaning behind this special day. Yes, everyone was glad everyone was born. And yes, everyone loves a good piece of fried fish and birthday cake for dessert. But this year was different for my forever family. Because this year involved dear baby Carter. And he was a bit of a handful, what with all of his almost 7-month-old teething at the time. Master of the computer

But none of that mattered to his grandma Schmidt, especially since she hadn’t seen him in a few weeks. He fussed and cried and did everything he doesn’t normally do. But what I saw through her eyes that day was pure and completely uncomplicated love and appreciation for all things this little person would bring into the world.

Joy. From the ground up, I saw that in her wisdom that day. Her and my dear forever mom talked at length in the living room with no one but a sleepy Carter and myself there to hear them about life as a mom and all that entails. I’ve heard it before from other family members (like my mom’s mom and sister) too, but something seemed to come full circle that day hearing it from my grandma Schmidt. Like in some odd way everyone who loves dear baby Carter was on the same page.

This isn’t to say I didn’t know this before. But I know every year something special is going to happen at Fish Day and this year was no different. This year I was reminded there is so much more to life than fried fish (though that was and always will be very yummy). There is life. And the love that life breeds. These are the things worth celebrating not just one day a year but every single day.

 

 

 

Funny Little Number February 6, 2014

Perspective does funny little number on time. To a dog, a day when people are away at that place called work seems like an eternity. To a child, time is endless. To an adult, time is a precious commodity. To me, time is priceless.

That is why I don’t really understand what happens to people and birthdays. When you’re a little person, a birthday is something worthy of fanfare, presents and celebration. I’ve had the good fortune of attending several birthday parties for the little people in the family and they are always something to remember. They come complete with cakes with candles, beautifully wrapped presents and even the occasional water balloon fight (weather permitting). Silly Numbers

I must be missing a part of the puzzle. Because my forever dad never seems to want anything to do with any of it on his birthday. He turned 35 people years old yesterday and mom was sure to go about her usual attempts to commemorate the day. There were presents and mom got an ice cream cake, but dad wanted none of it.

Denial. From the ground up, that is the only emotion in the Schmidt home yesterday. Dad was in denial that he is another year older. Mom was in denial of his denial. I was in denial of all of it. And Carter? Well, he slept the majority of the time so I’m not really sure what he was thinking.

All in all it was one of those days you can’t wait to go to bed so it can be tomorrow. So that’s what I did. But today I got to thinking about these evolving perceptions of time. Why is it that birthdays stop being fun as people age? Age brings with it memories and love and wisdom. And I don’t care what dad thinks. I’m happy he was born, regardless of how long ago it happened.

I guess I side with American baseball player Satchel Paige. “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” he questioned.

Perspective. From the ground up, it does a funny little number on time. Heck, I turn the equivalent of 45 people years old in May and I’ve never felt better. And to me, time is endless, precious and priceless. Because instead of counting years I count blessings. And in doing so, I celebrate the years to come rather than counting the years past.