Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

This Favorite Phase of Mine February 4, 2015

I’m honestly trying not to get too excited about it. If there is something I have come to learn about little people I didn’t know before, it’s that everything seems to happen in phases.

For me, it started with the oblivious phase. I may as well not have existed at all in those first couple of months. Coincidentally, this was also the time I fell into somewhat of a sad place and found myself spending a little too much time under the bed in my forever parents’ bedroom.

Then came the smiling phase, where the simple sight of me entering the room (or his unsteady-headed line of sight for that matter) would cause the most sincere sense of what can only be described as pure glee all over his face. And so I started spending a little less time in hiding.

After that, it only has gotten more interesting. I wasn’t such a big fan of the fur pulling and tail yanking phase, which (thankfully) does seem to be behind us now.

Then there was the first time he started feeding me goodies from his high chair. This phase hasn’t ended yet, and I hope it never does.

But recently he’s taken to this new thing he only used to do with his stuffed animals. And it’s a far cry from the agony I experienced that one time he was poking around in my eye, let me tell you. This is nice, in a way that fills my heart with love for this continuously changing little person even if I can’t keep up with the changes.A Boy and His Dog

It’s called a hug. From the ground up, it’s one of the most real and honest things I’ve come to know about people behavior. And I love them. I get them from my forever parents all the time whether I need them or not, and now it’s started with Carter.

He’s no hug expert. Not yet anyway. He’s much better at it with people than with me, who he tends to clumsily smother with all his weight in his attempts. But I know enough about the emotion behind the behavior itself that I don’t ask questions. Like the food phase, I hope it never ends.

Because if there’s something I’ve come to understand about those little people, it’s that everything seems to happen in phases. And just when you figure it out, it seems to pass you right by. So I’ve decided to pretend I haven’t noticed it at all. Maybe that way this phase, this favorite phase of mine, will be here to stay.

 

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.

 

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.