Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Give and Take March 28, 2014

It’s been a long time coming. Yet it seemed to pass with the blink of an eye. Today was mom’s last day at that place called work. And I thought she’d be excited. Instead I was met with mixed emotions upon her return home. It wasn’t until later that I understood why.

Get what you giveIt had been a busy day around here, with my grandma and aunt Morgan spending time with baby Carter and I. There was an incident involving a teeny tiny cut that happened when Morgan was cutting Carter’s itsy bitsy nails. He cried. Grandma and Morgan cried. If I could, I would have cried. It was tough on everyone because we all know no one would intentionally hurt our dear little person. Yet he was hurt today.

I thought it was oddly poetic that mom seemed a little hurt too. She invested a tremendous amount of herself in that place, but even more so in the people it included. They became her work family. They came to her with troubles and she never once turned them away. As they took other opportunities in and outside the organization, she celebrated their success. She worked almost as hard to foster relationships as she did at her job itself.

So today, when she left the office for the last time with her box of office keepsakes, she did so with a heavy heart. Because she quite honestly didn’t feel very loved. Her work family let her go with very little fanfare. It was all too soon forgotten how she cared for them in time of need. And as she is taking an opportunity outside the organization, very few peopled celebrated her success.

But that’s the thing about give and take. It doesn’t always turn out like we plan. Just like no one would intentionally hurt dear baby Carter, I believe no one meant to hurt mom today. And I think deep down she knows that too. Or at least she does a pretty good job of pretending.

Because it has indeed been a long time coming. And it has passed in the blink of an eye. It doesn’t matter that mom didn’t take much fanfare home with her today. She gave 110%. That’s what really matters anyway.

 

You Can’t Put Christmas Away (Revisited) July 8, 2013

Sleigh bells ring. Are you listening? I haven’t caught mom listening to Christmas music in a while, but occasionally I hear the sleigh bells ringing anyway. I close my eyes and I can smell freshly baked pumpkin pie (which I do occasionally get to sample). I can hear Christmas carols. I can see everyone gathering around the Christmas tree to open presents. The smiles each of these things ignite are presents in themselves.

My eyes were opened to it today when my forever mom and dad and I were playing one of my favorite games. Simply put, its a game of give and take. Its one of very few things I remember learning from my birth mom before I got separated from her. I was instructed to give an object to one of my brothers, they were instructed to give it back to me, and then I could play. It was like I was getting permission to take whatever object it was I wanted. And ultimately, I gave to receive.

To this day, I give Mrs. Prickles and all my other toys to mom and she gives it back to me and at that point I nurse on it, lay on it, or (only every once in a while) rip it to shreds. It is a habit that I don’t see changing any time soon, because I think the action itself is sound. Employing the balance of give and take is not such a bad thing, after all. But as my thoughts drifted back to the true joy of Christmas, I realized the logic behind the behavior is completely backward. I give to receive? I don’t think so.Christmas Joy

That’s not what the joy of Christmas is all about. That’s not what I am all about. Sleigh bells ring, and I’m listening. I’m craving pumpkin pie, Christmas carols and family time.

It was almost seven months ago when mom didn’t want to take down the Christmas tree when dad said it. You can’t put Christmas away. I vowed that day not to put Christmas away, but instead to live and breathe the joy that is Christmas all year long. To love actively. And to make time to share joy and love with whomever will take it in hopes that my words might inspire someone else to do the same. I don’t know how I’ve fared with these goals other than that I do continue to feel the spirit of Christmas living in me each day this year. It’s true. You can’t put Christmas away.

To go back and read more about my goals for 2013: http://wileyschmidt.com/2012/12/31/you-cant-put-christmas-away-goals-for-2013/

To read about when I caught my silly mom listening to Christmas music in June: http://wileyschmidt.com/2013/06/01/joy-to-the-world/comment-page-1/