Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Sky Full of Stars July 23, 2014

When we’re little, we can’t wait for it. It’s like something we have our own internal countdown for, just waiting until that special day arrives. Then it does and we wish it hadn’t. Birthdays. From the ground up, I’ve come to wonder about them, mostly because I’ve always thought I would know when that day came. That day, when I knew beyond a doubt that I was completely and utterly grown up. That day, when I felt on my game. That day, when I felt wise.

Well I don’t know about you, but I haven’t yet recognized such a day. At the tender age of six people years old (which is equivalent to about 42 doggie years old), I say with complete honesty that I can’t say I’ve ever actually felt like a grown up. Not in the traditional sense of the term anyway. But today, as I paused to watch my forever family for a bit, I realized maybe it isn’t about that.Think with the Heart

I sat by, as I always do, while mom and dad had dinner together. More recently, dear baby Carter has joined them for dinner as he eats various concoctions of what my people call “solids,” which (at least in my opinion) greatly resemble soups of various homemade flavors. His options thus far include mango, sweet potato, broccoli, avocado and (as of tonight) banana. And it’s all very exciting both for him, as well as my beloved forever mom and dad.

Today as I watched what is my reality unfold I realized I am, in fact, living my dream. I can’t say I knew what it would look like when I was a puppy. I know I was like anyone else, looking forward to being a grown up more than anything else. I couldn’t wait for the outside world to see me differently. To see me as a grown up.

Today I realized none of that really matters as much as remembering your inner child. Sure, it’s fun to think about what it might be like one day when you’re all grown up. That one day when you have everything figured out. That one day when you feel wise. But I realized today being grown up has absolutely nothing to do with that one day. It has everything to do with the days that follow. It has everything to do with how you move forward, how you make a difference. How you live.

So today I recommit my life to one of wisdom. I recommit myself to seeing a sky full of stars whenever it’s in front of me. I recommit myself to live. From the ground up, that’s about as simple as it gets.

 

 

Slow It Down July 13, 2014

It’s pretty funny to me when mom says it out loud. Mostly because when she says it, I feel like she’s bringing my thoughts to life in a way only words can. “Stop it,” she’ll say to dear baby Carter. He keeps growing and getting stronger and more independent and we all know it’s all very good. He is hitting all of the baby milestones as he should be. He’s almost crawling already for goodness sakes. It feels like yesterday he was just a teeny tiny blob of joy (and tears). So mom tells him to stop it. I know she’s being silly, but it’s true sometimes.Life.

I think it’s kind of like wanting to hit the pause button on a beautiful moment. We’ve had a lot of those lately.

Like today, when we as family celebrated the birthday of my forever mom. She turned 29 today, and with that came a variety of moments I wished I could slow down. Moments I wish I could pause. Like the special time we all shared cuddling together this morning. Her and dad and baby Carter and I. Or the breakfast mom and dad shared on the patio. Or when aunt Morgan came to watch Carter and I while mom and dad went exploring somewhere. Or when they came back with treats for everyone. Or when Carter fell asleep on mom for the first time in a long time and she cried tears of joy. Or when mom and baby Carter swam laps around the neighbor’s pool (otherwise known as mom kicked around and Carter was along for the ride).

These are some of the moments that happened today I wished I could pause.

“God gave us the gift of life,” said French Enlightenment writer Voltaire, “it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”

It’s pretty funny to me when mom says it out loud. Yet I know it to be true. Sometimes we need to stop it. Sometimes we need to pause. Because it is when we do, when we slow down and take in everything happening around us, that we are reminded of the gift life truly is. In these moments we don’t just know joy. We live it.

 

Never Letting Go May 20, 2014

I wasn’t expecting anything. Not with the baby around. And mom being really sick. And dad being distracted with work stuff.

So you can imagine my surprise when it happened. It wasn’t right away in the morning like usual, but it happened. And it absolutely made my day. Today I got my birthday present from the most unlikely of sources. It’s a moment for which I have been waiting for more than a year. And today, on the day we just so happen to celebrate my day of birth into this world, it happened.

Baby Carter reached for me this afternoon. Mom has been working with him on this basically since the day he was born. But alas, today he did it on his own accord. There he was, standing (with mom’s support of course) and he reached out and touched my face and my ears and my tail. I’m not going to lie, as much as I was looking forward to it, it was pretty scary when it actually happened.

Because let’s face it. Four-month-old babies have a death grip. It doesn’t matter whether its mom’s hair or his teething giraffe or mom’s necklace or dad’s arm. When they grab on to something, it’s for the long haul. So that’s what happened when he caught a handful of fur today. He grabbed on and would not let go.

And in that moment I realized that’s the best birthday present a doggie could ask for – a little person to grab onto and not let go. Sure, I enjoyed my customary ice cream cone and extra bits of attention from my people throughout the day. It was all especially nice because I truthfully wasn’t expecting anything. It’s not a special birthday, after all. Who celebrates turning six doggie years, anyway? Another (equivalent of seven people years) older was my first thought as I woke this morning.

But today I had a little person do what they do best. He grabbed on. And no matter how old I get I know one thing is for sure. I will never let that go.

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From Now On February 24, 2014

It’s the same thing every night. Eat, bathe, cuddle, sleep. I don’t know about baby Carter, but its a routine with which I could get pretty comfortable. My role in all of it is pretty minimal. I usually oversee the bathing process and lay patiently on the rug I know is just for me in Carter’s room while mom rocks the baby to sleep. Soothing sounds fill the room and I frequently drift off to dreamland myself, albeit temporarily.

Tonight was different. Tonight I put my paw down. I’ve had enough of this cuddling business not involving me so I quit laying idly by. Instead I hopped myself right onto the tiny portion of lap mom has to spare on the rocking chair and laid myself down. I stopped watching and started living (or, more accurately, cuddling) in that moment. And it was grand. Is it cuddle time yet?

Baby CarterI was quite comfortable drifting into dreamland there in our cuddle bubble. What happened next took me by surprise given the intense feelings of joy I felt just a few moments prior. It was Carter’s 12th birthday (in people years, not dog years) and he was blowing out the candles on the cake. I waited patiently to see myself, pestering my way into the mix to get a lick of frosting as I tend to do. But I never came. I wasn’t there to see Carter turn 12.

The image jolted me right out of dreamland and back to reality. And (for once) I’m so glad it did. Because there I was, cuddling with my forever mom and my little person. Joy. From the ground up, it overwhelmed my little doggie heart in those precious moments together.

Because my dream tonight contained within it a wake up call. There is a chance I will still be around to get that lick of frosting after all. But it’s more likely I won’t.

Eat, bathe, cuddle, sleep. It’s the same thing every night and promises to be that way for the foreseeable future. Some might see it as monotonous, but (as is typical to us canines) I find routines soothing. They bring order to a world that can seem chaotic at times. In those moments, those precious moments, the world is exactly as it should be. I think I will be sneaking my way into cuddle time more often from now on.

 

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.