Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Great Expectations November 3, 2013

I’m not sure what I expected. We are a little more than seven months into this journey of life change (otherwise known as pregnancy) and I’ve noticed some patterns.

Feeling the LoveAlmost every time mom comes home from wherever those errand places are, she has some baby things. Diapers or wipes or onesies or sleepers. It’s like an addiction. I hear it’s called nesting and it’s normal. Meanwhile I find myself wondering whether mom realizes she will indeed still be able to leave the house after the baby is born. It’s not like the birth of my little person is the baby apocalypse.

Then there is dad. He is nesting in his own unique way. Projects. It’s become a weekly thing around here. One after the next after the next. It started with the wood trim, which he insisted would look better white. So he made it happen. Then came the kitchen table switcheroo – the nine-piece table formerly in our kitchen has been resigned to storage and replaced with a smaller five-piece version that dad has overhauled. What was once an outdated table now looks like something you’d see on one of those shows on HGTV, complete with bright colors and trendy new fabric seats.

It happened again today. Mom went grocery shopping and came back with an extra bag of baby goodies. And dad finished painting the trim in the bedroom. So I did what any dog would do. I slept the day away.

But I can’t stop thinking about these patterns. Especially dad’s since mom has basically been wearing her (pregnancy hormone driven) emotions on her sleeve. Dad holds such things a lot closer to the vest. I thought this might change or develop somehow during the pregnancy process, but it seems I was wrong.

Frankly, I think he’s freaked. And these projects are his way of focusing at least some of that nervous energy on forward progress. I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing, since most of what he’s working on he’s been talking about since I first came into my forever home. There’s no time like the present, as they say.

I don’t know what I expected but I do know one thing for sure. He shouldn’t be nervous. American writer Clarence Budington Kelland said it best. “He didn’t tell me how to live,” as American writer Clarence Budington Kelland said, “he lived, and let me watch him do it.” I’ve seen him with the nieces and nephews (otherwise known as my favorite little people). I’ve watched him take care of mom after her knee surgery. And I’ve lived it. Firsthand.

Sure, he was a little hesitant to let me into his heart (similar to him being nervous about having a baby in the house). But he’s a great dad. I couldn’t ask for someone more caring and fun and loving (even though he still won’t admit he loves me). He lives, and I am a better doggie because I watch him do it.

 

Tears of Joy August 10, 2013

For me, its in the simple things. Pursuing  a squirrel in the backyard (even if it outsmarts me). Making myself comfortable on the patio furniture (which I know is naughty). Jumping three feet in the air to catch a tennis ball (even though I always lose interest after a catch or two). These are things that bring me joy. Nothing fancy, right?

Well, the strangest thing has been happening around here lately. My mom has been finding joy in everything. At face value, I suppose this wouldn’t sound strange, and yet I can’t quite wrap my little doggie mind around it. While much of it is triggered by the same things as always (shoes, family time, Paul Rudd’s humor – you know, the usual), some of it is surprising me. I’ve come to understand laughter as an expression of joy (for example), but this whole tears of joy thing throws me for a loop.

I didn’t used to think people tears were a bad thing, but lately I’ve seen enough of them to second guess myself. She cries all the time, over the simplest things. Don’t get me started with that Wishbone commercial where the golden retriever welcomes his person home from that place called work. Tears every time. Today dad came home with a bag of treats (for me) and a bag of clothes (for the baby). Out came the tears again.

But I know with certainty these are not tears of sadness, grief, or anger. These are tears of joy. And apparently they are somehow linked to something called hormones. She’s apparently always had them, but she says they are heightened right now because of the pregnancy. I’ve heard mom and dad talk a bit about this, because mom’s tears usually trigger dad’s giggles (which mom doesn’t usually appreciate). I don’t know why dad gives her a hard time about it either. From what I’ve heard about pregnancy hormones (and their impact on patience, anger and tension), I’ll take the tears any day.

For mom, it’s in the simple things. I’m not sure what did it during my escapades in the backyard today, but it happened nonetheless. There I was, getting my joy on with squirrels, patio furniture and tennis balls. And there she was crying tears of joy. To be honest, that might be my new favorite thing about joy. From the ground up, it’s contagious in all of its forms.

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