Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Dreamers Who Do November 8, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:59 pm
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I don’t know how it happened. It was like some backwards form of deja vu. Like somehow I was back in the dream I had yesterday about talking to dear baby Carter about the value of time again 24 hours later. Impossible.

Yet that itself is nothing compared to what happened next. There we were again, right about when I was finishing my passionate monologue on living in the moment. Ironically that’s the moment my (albeit dream) world turned upside down.

Wiles and Carter

He reached out and pet my fur like he understood. Then it happened. “Thank you, doggie,” I heard him say. I know it’s impossible, but these are the things that happen in dreams. Three simple words, but to me it meant the world. Even if they only happened in a dream. And how dynamic to have it be words of gratitude that for me were akin to words of joy.

It was a reminder yet again of how quickly things change. At 10 months old, he does indeed say doggie on occasion (it was even his first official word). And with how mom works with him and his vocabulary, I’m sure it isn’t that far fetched to think perhaps he will be saying such a thing to me in the not so distant future.

It reminds me of the wise words of author Sarah Ban Breathnach who said “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.”

I don’t know how two dreams like this happen back to back like this. But this is one of those things I’m not asking questions. Instead I’m sitting back to enjoy the emotional ride. Not only because it’s a good one, but because that means I’m practicing what I preach. Living in the moment is sometimes surreal, but there is life in anything we breathe life into.

 

On Being Joy October 14, 2014

It was just like old times. And I honestly can say I can’t recall the last time it happened. Pickle in the middle. From the ground up, this familiar favorite activity of mine stirred up a whole new sense of glee tonight. It was one of those fractions of time that simultaneously lasts forever and not long enough.

Other than the time that has passed since it has last been played, nothing in particular was different about the game itself. It still involved my forever mom and dad throwing a toy of mine back and forth between them while I pretend not to know what’s going on. I chase after it, back and forth, until I run out of steam.

Tonight was no exception. I chased and jumped and heaved and jumped and chased some more. Except this time, we had an audience. Dear baby Carter sat by, occasionally attempting an interception. And laughing. I know this is a joyful game, but I had no idea how joyful it could be until the giggling started and did not stop. It should be noted that while Carter is a happy baby, giggling is not something he takes lightly. His curious mind is continuously calculating and seeking to understand his surroundings. So this giggling sound is something of an emotional golden gem around here. For mom and dad, and (to my surprise) for me.

That thing I said about running out of steam? It was like the giggles fueled me somehow, and I kept running and jumping and heaving and running and jumping some more as a result. Carter was the one giggling, but mom and dad were so happy in these moments. Joy. From the ground up, it literally fueled my spirit today.

“There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward,” suggested Lebanese poet and philosopher Khalil Gibran.

It was easy for me to identify the fusion of the gift and reward of joy today. Because it was just like old times. Except it might have been a tiny bit better. My beloved little person has found a way to do it again. He has found a way to be joy, from the ground up.

Wiley and Carter Costumes

 

We Have Lived July 30, 2014

It actually sounds a bit crazy to think about these days. Yet it doesn’t change the truth. The majority of the first several weeks of dear baby Carter’s life, it was ridiculously cold around here. I know such things are a matter of perspective, but today I reflected back 190 days ago In The Grassand alas, it was two degrees that day.

The thing is, after that frigid a winter (with abnormally regular temperatures in the negative 5 to 10 degree range) people around here now have something new to complain about. A cold summer. So far, we’ve only had a few uncomfortably hot days and my all intent and purpose summer as we know it is indeed drawing to a close already. It seems too soon. It seems like we deserve more after the absolute north pole-esque winter we had.

Instead we have this, a fairly mild summer. And while it’s easy to be pretty upset about that, I can’t help but think back to 190 days ago when it was freezing cold and baby Carter cried. All. The. Time. It ironically even came to mind today what those days were like, three weeks after Carter was born. When no one slept more than an hour at a time. Stress and all other emotions were running at full steam ahead. And neither of my people would have changed a single thing about it.

Joy. It doesn’t sound like it to most people, but that is what those first few weeks were for my forever people. It’s just taken us all a bit to realize it since we were in such an over-tired, exhausted haze of sleep depravity at the time. Now that Carter has been sleeping through the night for some time, I am reminded of those harder (yet somehow joyful) times all those months ago. He hasn’t been sleeping quite as well, do doubt do to something mom keeps calling teething. So I stand by and hope (for everyone’s sake) that sleep will still resume to its previously happy normalcy.

In the meantime, I know how far things have come since all of those months ago. January 21, 2014 it was literally two degrees outside. Mom would never have thought to let me outside to do anything other than relieve myself and come back in (for fear I may have formed into a doggie icicle of some sort I suppose). And I realized today that my dream that day, that frigidly freezing day, has indeed come to fruition on multiple occasions. I am so blessed to say I had hoped and prayed all of those months ago that dear baby Carter and I would have a chance to play together in the grass.

We have, and in doing so, I would say we have lived.

 

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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On Making Mistakes May 8, 2014

It’s happened to the best of us. We looked back on something and thought to ourselves “self, that was not the best idea.” That was absolutely the wrong thing to do in that situation. That was a mistake.

But as I am in the business of not having any regrets, I have come to view such things as important (and almost necessary) pieces of anyone’s life puzzle. I do say this with some authority in the matter, as I (not unlike most characters) have a past worth considering. I’ve made questionable decisions.

My Napping BuddyLike the day I defended myself (and my dear little person at the time named Jo) against the man with the leather belt. And the time I jumped the fence in my attempt to escape from my first (failed) adoptive home in Port Washington. Or, most recently, the time I chased that rabbit around the neighborhood of my grandma’s house the night before mom had baby Carter. I gave my poor beloved forever mom an emotional heart attack that night that I still wish I could take back.

I’m not sure why I relived all of these images in my daydreams today. Or at least I wasn’t until I noticed something dear Carter did. One minute he was there in his jumping gismo, happy as ever. The next, he was not. He tried to get his big ole baby foot out of the jumper and ended up in a very uncomfortable position. Not sure whether he’ll make that mistake again.

But I suppose that is indeed the point of it all. Because let’s be honest. It has happened to the best of us. We’ve all done things in life that we find questionable later. Things we wish we could take back. Things we deem to be mistakes.

But, as usual, I agree with Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, who challenged that “a life making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life doing nothing.” I think sometimes we need to make these mistakes to remind ourselves where we are at in life. We need to make these mistakes to remember the lessons from them. We need to make these mistakes to live.

 

He Looked At Me May 3, 2014

The emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune. This is one of four definitions on a sign I noticed in baby Carter’s room tonight. It seems an appropriate set of people words to reference today, after the day our family had. It’s downright silliness really.

The best part was (of course) that I was involved in mostly everything that happened. This is not always the case anymore, since all things Carter took over about four month ago. I don’t complain about such things as I have come to be quite fond of my alone time under the bed of my forever people. Day or night, it has become by safe haven from all things baby. I know it sounds terrible but I don’t care. Sometimes you just need some time away.

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This has certainly not been the case for my dear forever mom, who just can’t seem to get enough of the crying, spitting, pooping thing that is my dear little person. But I digress.

Because today it doesn’t matter. None of it does. None of the crying, spitting, pooping messiness that is babies matters. Because today we had that emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune. Today my distaste for “smart” phones went on holiday. For today we had joy. From the ground up, it was everywhere today. It was in this new-fangled hanging jumper thingy for Carter. It was in the car ride we all took to go for a walk. It was in the moment when Carter looked at me.

He really looked at me. And I saw so many things in his big brown eyes. I saw love and joy and hope and a future filled with all of these things. I might be biased, but I happen to think my dearest little person is pretty darn adorable.

Aside from any of the not-so-adorable things he does. And aside from the time I choose to spend away from any of it. He showed me a new side of him today. A side I knew was there, but had yet to see. He is a little person indeed. He may cry, but he also smiles. He may fuss, but he also jumps with glee. He may make stinky things (like spit and poop and burps and foofters), but…well, these things I don’t mind.

Not to mention how happy he makes my beloved forever people. The emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune. To be honest, we needed none of this today. Because today we had each other. From the ground up, that is all that mattered in these precious moments.

 

Dessert First April 6, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 6:43 pm
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For me, it’s usually a dental bone. Or a rawhide. Or may, if I’m really lucky, a fragment of bacon or steak table scraps. Dessert is probably pretty different for me than it is for most people.

For my people, it’s either homemade chocolate cream pie or a slice of tiramisu or carrot cake or cheesecake or Butterfinger torte. And it’s all pretty yummy from what I can tell by smelling it. I never get samples, but it’s okay. I can see the joy that comes from dessert. It’s honest and true and real.

So is life, I realized today. When you’ve been through something, big or small, it changes you. It changes your outlook on life. It’s no secret I eat the same thing every day. And, for me, dessert is usually a dental bone or rawhide or maybe (if I’m lucky) a table scrap of some kind. But in a way it is the same for a lot of people.Legacy Looks Like This

Sometimes life gets kind of repetitive from day to day. It can seem like we’re eating the same thing over and over. But ultimately that’s not such a bad thing. And it’s the dessert that changes things up. It doesn’t have to be a pie or cake of some kind. It can be any particular enjoyment of life.

Life. From the ground up, it can be dessert if we let it be. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Baby Carter had a fever today. It’s not a surprise because my people have been sick with a cold for a few days. I would have thought it somewhat of a miracle had he not come down with something. But as his fever went down I found myself feeling relieved. Who needs dessert when something as simple as life itself has been restored to normality?

 

Hello World March 11, 2014

Today I thought I’d let baby Carter do the talking. He’s getting pretty good at it.

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Thoughts on Happiness

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy and…you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” Helen Keller

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” Omar Khayyam

“There is only one happiness in this life; to love and be loved.” George Sand

“Love is trembling happiness.” Khalil Gibran

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness you are able to give.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Please consider sharing joy with someone today.

 

A Little Dream January 10, 2014

It finally happened. I’ve been thinking about it for months. But I didn’t want to push my luck and try it too soon. So I waited. Perhaps not as patiently as my forever mom and dad would have liked. But I waited. After almost ten months of waiting, that’s saying something.

Well today I got my chance. And let me tell you something. It was worth the wait. Today I got to cuddle with my new little person. It was just as beautiful as I imagined it would be. He was warm. And I could hear his little heart beating. Peace. From the ground up, that’s what was contagious in the Schmidt house today.Peace.

So there we were, snuggling ourselves into the nap world, when things took a turn for the unexpected. For this I was not prepared. It was fleeting. If I hadn’t been peaking at Carter out of the corner of my eye at that exact moment I would have certainly missed it. But I didn’t.

The smile. I can’t explain the joy I felt in the moment I saw that peaceful little smile. I knew then that he was dreaming and selfishly hoped that just maybe he was dreaming about me. Because when I closed my eyes again, I dreamed of him. I saw us together playing catch in a new fenced-in backyard I didn’t recognize. He was laughing, and I was wagging and all was well with the world.

I dreamed this little dream as I napped with baby Carter this afternoon. And it made me realize maybe us canines are more capable of being patient than I thought. “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet,” as 18th century Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau suggested.

I waited almost ten months for the cuddling I enjoyed today. All that waiting fulfilled in a single sweet moment. It was worth the wait.

 

Something So Little January 2, 2014

It finally happened. The moment I’ve been waiting for almost ten months. Well, today I realized it was more than that. It was one of those once in a lifetime kind of moments.

Today I met my little person. Carter Joseph Schmidt. I didn’t think it was possible to love something so little so much.