Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Giggles All The Way December 12, 2014

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this news update. That’s kind of how I felt tonight when it happened. All the usual suspects were together in the basement engaging in our usual nighttime shenanigans.

There was laughter and happiness and joy. And love. From the ground up, it’s come to be a pretty happy time of day in the Schmidt home. We were a couple minutes into the usual game of pickle in the middle – the one where I chase a toy as mom and dad throw it back and forth between themselves and dear baby Carter giggles the night away – when routine took a turn for novelty.Happy!!!!

Carter made himself the pickle. In the best and most adorable kind of way I could have imagined. My role turned from active to passive, as I stood by and watched it all unfold. Sure, he had the toy we had been playing with a few minutes earlier. But the game was not about that anymore.

He walked from mom to dad. And from dad to mom. And from mom to dad. Over and over. I would say he did that about a dozen times before he moved on to the next game as it is my understanding 11-month-olds do. In itself, I suppose it probably doesn’t sound like anything special.

But there was laughter and happiness and joy and love involved. A whole lot of love. Because it wasn’t jut about walking back and forth between our beloved forever parents. As he walked toward dad, he giggled and smiled his biggest kind of smile as dad opened his arms and did the same. When he turned around and mom giggled and smiled and opened her arms, he smiled and giggled as he made his return journey. And every time he made it to his destination, there was hugging involved.

It was quite the sight to see, even if it did interrupt my regularly scheduled programming for the evening. I might have missed out on the remainder of my game of pickle in the middle, but this was so much better. This was joy, from the ground up.

 

Let It Take You Over October 22, 2014

Nothing went wrong. Nothing spectacular happened either. It was pretty much your average day around the Schmidt house today. Dad went to that place called work. Mom cared for dear baby Carter when she wasn’t working. Carter was in good spirits. All was well around here.

So when it happened this afternoon, it brought an unexpected smile to my heart.

Carter has taken to spending time with dad when he gets home from work. It’s like he’s soaking up all the dad time he can, since he doesn’t see him as much as mom and I. Today was no exception, as he clung to dad while mom finished making dinner. That’s when that magic thing happened again. To me there is really other logical explanation for the emotional vacation the spirit takes when a good song makes an appearance in one’s day. Music. From the ground up, it touches the soul in a way words alone cannot.

Please let me preface this by saying dad, in general, is not a giggly person. And he doesn’t particularly care for dancing. But when One Republic’s “Good Life” came on the radio as mom was cooking and dad was holding Carter, what happened next really was its own slice of goofiness. I think dad thought mom wouldn’t see, but she has a way of noticing these kinds of things. Namely, she could hear both dad and Carter giggling like ninnies, so there was no way she wasn’t going to investigate the cause.

The scene in the living room was one that would have brought a smile to anyone’s heart. There dad was, with Carter, dancing around like a ninny to a song about living a good life. “When you’re happy like a fool, let it take you over,” Ryan Tedder sings. “When everything is out, you gotta take it in.” Good Life

That is exactly what mom and I did in that moment. As dad was happy like a fool, we took it in. And, in doing so, we were happy little fools too.

Today was just another day. Nothing went wrong. Nothing spectacular happened. It was definitely a pretty average day around the Schmidt house. That is, until that moment, when joy came alive at the hand of music and reminded us we are, indeed, living the good life.

 

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