Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Within and Without September 8, 2014

Four months. That is how long it has been since it last happened. That’s about half of how long dear baby Carter has been around, a fact that has not been lost on my forever mom. Feeling thoughtful

Carter’s increased mobility has had a directly inverse relationship with his desire to snuggle with her. I’ve picked up what I can of the slack, but I can tell mom has been beside herself about this since the first time he didn’t want her to rock him to sleep at night.

All that changed today. Probably not for good, as I know Carter is loving every minute of the independence he has discovered now that he’s crawling all over the place. But that didn’t matter in these precious moments. Nor did it matter that they were preceded by almost 45 minutes of tearful and woeful crying (the kind that is capable of making a person’s heart hurt).

Because in those moments, with big ole 8-month-old Carter asleep on her lap, all was well in her world. For the first time in four months, he was sincerely and visibly calmed by her holding him close just like she did all the time all those months ago.

“When you take your attention into the present moment, a certain alertness arises,” suggested “Power of Now” author Eckhart Tolle. “You become more conscious of what’s around you, but also, strangely, a sense of presence that is both within and without.”

Mom was within and without today. And I don’t know when it will happen again, but that doesn’t matter. Because it happened today. And since we’ve all embraced the present of presence around here, that is all that really matters.

 

Get Back Up Again August 15, 2014

If it were me, I might have given up by now. Though I can’t say that’s entirely true because I do suppose I must have gone through something similar at some point in my puppyhood. But in light of the recent exodus of dear baby Carter and his mobility, this has been a sight to be seen. Backyard shenanigans

Just a few weeks ago, at the tender age of around six months, he started crawling. A few weeks before that, rolling was his preferred method of transportation. And now I can honestly say I think he is going to be walking soon. Mind you, he is seven months old, and from what I understand this is very early for such a thing to occur in terms of developmental milestones.

Nonetheless, it’s all happening very quickly around here. But, like any journey, there are bumps along the way. And, in this case, there are a lot of them. Just out of curiosity, I attempted today to count the number of times Carter pulled himself up on something, stepped toward it, stood there for a bit, and fell down. I lost count at 56, and that was at about 3 p.m. so I’m certain there was at least a dozen or so more attempts.

Some falls looked more painful than others, but he did not falter. He got back up again and again and again.

The more I thought about it, I realized that I of course must have gone through something similar as a puppy where I fell down figuring out my paws. But as I watched Carter pull himself up on his activity center for the dozenth time, I saw something in his eyes. Determination. Strength. Maybe even a slight hint of stubbornness. Most importantly, there was a sense of perseverance.

And as American Roman Catholic priest Walter Elliot suggested, “perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”

Dear baby Carter might fall down every single time he tries, but his journey doesn’t end there. He gets back up. Again and again, he doesn’t give up. And I’m fairly certain at this point he never will. I only hope I can find ways to teach him as much as he is already teaching me.

 

Acres of Diamonds April 28, 2014

I stand for a lot of things. The least of which is a dog’s right to the occasional piece of bacon. But I also make a point to stand for the big things too. Like freedom. Love. Life. The pursuit of happiness. I live these things in my daily life. They are part of who I am.

So you can imagine how it was today to see baby Carter stand for something. He stood for himself today. At the tender age of (almost) four months old, my dear little person actually resembled a little person today. He stood on his own two legs all by himself. Kind of. He had a little support from the ottoman behind him. But it was still such a remarkable developmental milestone to witness.This is what happiness looks like

It reminded me that he is going to stand a lot in his life. It’s easy to forget this since he still spends the majority of his time in someone’s loving arms. He’s not mobile (yet). He still sleeps more than he’s awake. (Not that I can talk in that regard). But soon enough my little person will indeed be standing on his own, both literally and figuratively speaking.

He’s going to have thoughts and opinions about things. He’s going to learn right from wrong. He’s going to learn about powerful emotions. He’s going to live. It’s all so surreal to think about right now, yet I found myself wondering today what he will stand for in his life.

I hope he takes a page from my book about the bacon. If he doesn’t (apparently it’s not the best thing for people’s health), that’s okay as long as he learns to stand for the big things instead. Like freedom. Love. Life. The pursuit of happiness. And Joy. From the ground up, this is my wish today. Because as I watched dear Carter stand up today, the words of American motivational speaker Earl Nightengale came to mind.

“You are, at this moment, standing right in the middle of your own acres of diamonds,” he said. That is all I can hope for today and always.