Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Tiny Little Fingerprints January 7, 2015

It doesn’t happen often, but I think I spotted it today. The moment was fleeting, but it was there.

Every now and then, I think mom misses her old life. The one where she went to that place called work every day and talked with friends and customers and came home and made dinner and her and dad spent time together reminiscing and watching an occasional movie or playing a game. The one involving fancy business clothes and the lunch meetings at fancy restaurants. The one when there was more money coming in every month.

Cabin fever was the culprit when it happened today. I’m sure of that. With temperatures as frigidly cold as they have been, she has been working from home a little more than usual because negative degree temperatures are nothing dear baby Carter should have to face. Ground Up Thinking

And I’ve found something about days like this. The life of a mom. From the ground up, it’s not very glamorous.

Take today, for example. At one point this morning, mom had sleeves covered in some sort of baby food sludge. Carter had just managed to spill over the neatly folded basket of laundry onto the not-quite-dry kitchen floor into a heap of pants, shirts and pajamas. This happened about five minutes after he broke a measuring cup into hundreds of pieces all over the floor, which was already littered with the contents of several cabinets.

Mom scooped him into her arms to see if she could find something to occupy him long enough to allow her to reorganize the laundry. And that’s when it happened.

He grabbed her glasses off her face in a way only he can do and threw them on the floor. I saw it in that moment; one which I’m certain most moms have from time to time. I can’t even think of the best words to describe the feelings that I saw in the eyes of my dear forever mom. It doesn’t happen often, but it happened today.

And it didn’t last long. A few minutes went by before a sense of peace and order was restored, albeit brief. (It didn’t take long for Carter to create some other mess that would evoke fear and terror into the mind of any maid or housekeeper.)

Meanwhile, mom sat down to resume her work, and I noticed her take her glasses back off for a second. I watched as she examined her lenses, noting the tiny little fingerprints that were still very much plastered all over the place. I watched her smile the smile I’ve only seen since Carter was born. And I watched as she put the glasses back on without cleaning them.

She may have those moments from time to time. When she longs for the suits and lunches and all things business she left behind. When she wishes for the manicures and pedicures and massages that are for the most part a thing of the past. When she wants to be just her again.

But she’s a mom now. And that means she has tiny little fingerprints on her heart that can’t ever be washed away.

 

Watching the Clouds June 8, 2014

It’s ugly. And scary looking. And (perhaps worst of all) it doesn’t look like it’s getting much better. But today (in a moment of selfish weakness) I realized I am thankful for it. My dear forever dad injured his leg very badly playing softball the other night. When I say bad, I mean bad.

Off We Go

Off We Go

His entire shin is torn brutally torn apart from sliding into third base. The worst part about it? He was out anyway. Nonetheless, it’s there. And I can tell he’s trying to be strong about it, but it hurts.  A lot.

So today my people did something they haven’t done in a very long time. They stayed home for no other reason than to rest. Not because they were sick. And dad will tell you he could have handled doing any number of things regardless of the big red gash that is currently in the process of healing on his leg. But they didn’t. Instead they all stayed home, with me, all day long. Don’t tell them I told you, but they even napped a bit while Carter did at one point.

And I loved it. Not only because (mostly by default) they spent the day with me. Or because they put aside the list of things they could have done. But because sometimes you really do need to pause like they did today to reboot and recharge your batteries.

It’s been tough for me to see them both run themselves ragged keeping up with everything since dear baby Carter came home. There are some days they both pass out the second their heads hit the pillow. Then there are days like today.

“Rest is not idleness,” suggested British statesman John Lubbock, “and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

It wasn’t so ugly. And I’m not ashamed to say I am grateful for dad’s injury. Because today it forced my people to slow down and watch the clouds. No such thing is a waste of time to me.