Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

For Me It’s Both November 30, 2014

I have so many questions. So many general thoughts about life and all that makes it up. So many observations about people, places and things. And what I feel is a unique perspective from which to share all of this with whomever will take it.

Sometimes I feel like I’m babbling myself into some kind of intellectual abyss. Other times I feel like these questions, thoughts and observations have a way of coming together in a kind of harmony that I couldn’t replicate again if I tried. Like anyone I have good days and bad days. I know this reflects in my ongoing conversations with the blogosphere I have come to know as family in the last almost two years.Happy Blogging!

I can’t believe it’s been that long. In less than a month, I will have blogged every single day for two straight years. Seven days a week, 365 days a year, of joy, from the ground up. And while much of the obvious things in my life have remained static, I got to thinking today about how the world around me has changed so much since then.

Mom was recovering from knee reconstruction surgery all those months ago. She was laid up for what feels like forever, which I wouldn’t have minded if not for all the pain she was suffering through. Since then, our family of three has become a family of four and she has a different job that allows her more time at home with dear baby Carter and I. Dad liked me back then, but I know for sure he loves me now. And not just because he lets me snuggle with him more than he used to, but because he tells me he loves me when no one’s listening.

Life is different, simple as that, but I would take it as far as to say it’s better. Mom is happier, and an already stable marriage between my forever mom and dad is stronger. Carter is almost a year old and bringing more joy than frustration to all of us these days. Life is good.

When all of this started, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was I wanted to share my perspective on the joy in my world with whomever is interested enough to read my questions, thoughts and observations. Now I am blessed to have readers I’ve come to think of as family. It’s amazing what this thing called the Internet can do.

“Commitment is an act, not word,” suggested French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. In my case, it’s both. Because for better or worse, I am grateful to have your support through my good, bad, ugly, hysterical or downright challenging days. Amid all my curious musings, this is something I know for sure.

 

Like A Watermark October 10, 2014

They say it killed the cat. I sure hope that isn’t true, because something is in full bloom around here. Curiosity. From the ground up, it is in literally everything dear baby Carter does all day.

The toys, the cardboard discovery tunnel my forever parents built for him, the furniture. These are all more obvious things I suppose one would expect a child of nine months to explore. Things that are catching mom and dad off guard are the less obvious things, like inside the cabinets, the dishwasher and literally every object that is within an arm’s reach for him.

I realized today it’s kind of funny, since I wouldn’t dare venture anywhere but my designated toy bin for play things, it seems this is all Carter ever does – explore things outside the box. I think it’s all part of his development, because mom and dad certainly do (albeit cautiously) celebrate his discovery and appreciation of things.

And I suppose it brings some joy to my heart, as well. To see him using his little mind to figure things out, and the joy it brings my people to observe it happening. Even if it is something as seemingly insignificant as a spoon.

This thing called perspective is interesting in these memorable family moments. It reminds me a bit of a watermark, which (I admittedly had to look up to make sure I knew the proper definition of) is a recognizable image or pattern in paper that appears as various shades of light or darkness when viewed by transmitted light.

Right now, that light is in dear baby Carter’s heart as he explores things in his world for the first time. Right now, that “curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning,” as American inspirational writer William Arthur Ward suggested. I can say I agree, as I watch the impact this candle has on my little family. The joy it brings.

So I sure hope this thing called curiosity doesn’t kill the cat. Or anyone for that matter. Because from where I’m sitting (or laying, depending on the time of day), it’s definitely my new favorite source of joy from the ground up.

 

I Don’t Buy That April 3, 2014

Money is kind of a foreign concept to me. I know my people go to that place called work for it. I know they spend it to buy me things. But the overall concept is one that doesn’t really apply to a dog’s life as I know it.

I frequently find some solace in this, as it seems to do nothing but add stress to the lives of my people. But today I heard something that brought it home. Baby Carter has taken to watching cartoons on what I used to call the big moving picture window in the living room. I now know it as a television, but occasionally I wonder what Carter thinks of that big ole thing.

On the Road AgainHe obviously can’t tell me what he’s thinking at the tender age of three months old, but today I got a sense for it. Mom had the Disney movie “Aladdin” playing and every time the genie was on, Carter smiled. I don’t know if it was the colors or the voice or what. He just smiled so big every single time.

My first thought was how I am right there with him. I frequently long for such a genie to come into my life and grant me wishes. The first of which would be for enough money so mom could stay home with me all the time. Especially now that Carter is in the picture and he brings her the most pure sense of joy I have ever witnessed.

Alas, I won’t be the one to break the news to Carter, but there is no genie. Just like there is no way mom can stay home with him and I all the time. But there was a lesson to take from the song about Aladdin being a street rat.

“Riffraff, street rate, I don’t buy that,” Aladdin sings, “If only they’d look closer. Would they see a poor boy? No siree, they’d find out there’s so much more to me.”

Money might be a fairly foreign concept to me. Especially since I too have lived life as a street rat. But I see a lesson in dear Aladdin’s words that I hope is in some way imparting into baby Carter’s little mind. It doesn’t matter how much money we have. Or what people call us. It doesn’t matter where we come from. It matters where we are going.

 

Living in A Moment January 11, 2014

I’m not complaining. I want to be clear about that. But I’m not going to lie. While I am overwhelmed with joy for the major life change my people have embarked upon, it kind of frightens me a little. All right, I’ll be honest. It frightens me a lot.

ChallengeI knew it would happen eventually, but I didn’t expect it to happen this fast. Mom and dad have thrown caution to the wind. Forget the baby books. Put aside the message boards. Just as I knew would happen, Carter is writing a book of his own. And I can’t say my people seem to happy with the outcome.

When mom was pregnant, dad used to joke that he wished she could give birth to a toddler. Though it would be physically impossible, it seemed appealing then to be able to fast forward through the “tough” newborn stuff and get right to the talking, walking trouble that comes with little people who are about two people years old. That way at least they can tell us what they need, he said.

Meanwhile, any and every caring friend and family member concurs. Much of the advice and suggestions align with each other, but one has stood out to me. This too shall pass, but cherish these moments. He will only be little like this for a short time. They grow up so fast.

If dogs could talk I would echo these words. It hasn’t been easy, but as American hockey coach Herb Brooks suggested moments of challenge represent opportunities for success. “Great moments are born from great opportunities,” he said. Because let’s face it. Fast forward is no way to live.