Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

On Everything and Nothing March 31, 2015

It starts the same every time. I can see it in the eyes of my dear forever mom from the moment she wakes. This is going to be a good day, she thinks. Today I will get it all done.

I have to say it has intensified since she became a mom to dear baby Carter. I guess it makes sense since he is a reason the list itself is naturally longer now than it was before. From laundry to doctors appointments to simply cleaning up after the messes a toddler tornado can make in a day, he is his very own list maker. Joy

Today was no different, as she set out to accomplish x, y, z for work, and clean the house and take Carter to the doctor over lunch, squeeze in a run to the store, accomplish a, b, c for work and make dinner. In itself, it wasn’t that unheard of for her to think she could do it all. Except that she’s still sick. And Carter is a little sick. And none of that is as easy to accomplish under those circumstances.

It hit her hard around 3 p.m. when she realized basically the only things that got done were x, y, z for work and Carter’s doctor appointment. The visit to the store was a failure, since she forgot the two things she went for in the first place. And she hadn’t had a second to eat a proper breakfast or lunch, let alone give a second thought to dinner or cleaning the house.

It ends the same every time. There’s a sense of defeat in the air and I can feel mom’s heavy heart weighing on her as if it were my own.

The thing is, I know she knows it as well as I do: the problem is sometimes “it” is legitimately impossible. Sometimes the list literally is too long to achieve. Sometimes you can’t do it all. And that’s okay. Because sometimes when you feel like you got nothing done, it means you got everything done you were meant to that day. And everything is always better than nothing.

 

 

No More Sick Days March 24, 2015

There’s coughing. And sneezing. And lots (and lots) of tissues. All of these things made for a very tumultuous night of sleep last night at absolutely no fault of dear baby Carter (who ironically slept more soundly than he has in weeks).

My dear forever mom is, as they say, sick as a dog. Though I’ve never fully understood that phrase, this seems an appropriate time to use it. Normally, she would run to the drug store for the usual arsenal of cold-fighting medicines and kick this thing in the butt. But she’s pregnant. So nothing is normal. Love in Truth, Truth in Love

Instead, I watched as she (albeit sluggishly) made it through the day. Though I would say that is exactly what she did (made it, barely), I noticed something throughout the day that made my heart smile. She woke up and got out of bed (very) slowly, rubbed her tired eyes, and slipped on her slippers. What surprised me came next.

“Good morning, sunshine,” she said to Carter, in her cheeriest voice. She smiled at him and he hugged her and (at least in that moment) everything was okay. I saw it in glimpses throughout the day, too. Because she was clearly tired. And that makes working and keeping up with a toddler even more challenging.

I listened as she kept painfully clearing her throat to cheerfully talk him through the day. I watched as he hugged her more than usual, almost like he knew she wasn’t quite herself (in spite of how hard she tried to hide it). And I felt the love in my dear forever home.

 

Today I realized there are indeed no sick days as a parent.

There was coughing and sneezing and so very many tissues. And yes, mom is, as they say, sick as a dog. But today she became living and (albeit barely) breathing proof that whatever this sickness is will not get the best of her. Because she’s a mom. She’s being a mom to the baby in her decision to use only natural means to tend to whatever illness ails her. She’s being a mom to dear Carter by doing her very best to stay cheery for him even though I know she feels anything but that.

She’s a mom. There is power in that. There is strength in that. If that’s not enough to kick this thing, I don’t know what is.

 

 

Something out of Nothing February 21, 2015

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:13 pm
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It’s happening again. I didn’t think it was possible to be honest with you. Between the blankets and tiny clothes and diapers (so many diapers), I thought my dear forever home was at capacity for all things little people. I think dad thought so too.

But I knew it today as I watched mom patiently piece through various baby things and rearrange and reorganize and clean and rearrange some more. She’s nesting again. She’s caught baby fever and there’s no treatment other than endless trips to baby stores (for nothing in particular) and numerous variations of things in what has become Carter’s old room. Mom and Wiley

My dear baby Carter has transitioned to a much larger room than before, leaving the nursery up for grabs for my second little person. (This happened a few months ago, as it was my understanding my forever parents wanted to make sure he adjusted okay to the new space). The door to his old room has been closed the majority of the time since then, because I think it made mom a little sad to see Carter’s room looking so empty.

Until now. Today was a big day around here. After more than a dozen trips to baby stores and hours of searching and reading reviews online, she has finally made a decision about the bedding. I know it sounds like nothing. But believe me when I tell you, it’s something around here.

I might be the slightest bit biased in saying so as a member of the man’s best friend category, but I can’t help but think perhaps I played a role in the selection of an all things puppy theme once again. I’ve only seen pictures so far, but they look pretty great.

More importantly, mom seems happy. Because it’s happening again. All the decisions about the bedding and the crib set and the layettes and the blankets might not seem like much. But they are something to her. And I know why.

It all stems from something I’ve known in my heart for a while now. The joy in my forever home today confirmed the truth I already knew. Her ability to make something out of nothing is the manifestation of her motherhood. Sure, I know that has nothing to do with finding the perfect sheet set. And deep down so does she.

 

A Little Hug February 9, 2015

People give us dogs a lot of credit. And I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t completely deserved, at least the majority of the time. We have a way of picking up on emotions of our forever people and reacting accordingly. Whether its the small nudge of our nose into the hands of someone who is crying, or a flying leap into the arms of someone who is contagiously happy, we have our ways of relating to our people.

So I suppose I shouldn’t necessarily have been surprised to see what I did today. We have an innate sense for these things, so I guess it makes sense little people would too. But that still couldn’t have prepared me for what I witnessed this afternoon. Love. Unplugged.

Something I don’t fully understand was wrong with my dear forever mom. She got a phone call from her baby doctor and she wasn’t the same afterward. She seemed sad. And scared. Devastated might be an even better word for it.

So I did what any dog would do in reaction to the situation. I wagged and nudged and snuggled my way into that crevice much too small on the chair next to her so she knew it would all be okay. I know in my heart it will be and wished so badly she could know it in her heart too. But all of my efforts were for naught. The tears kept coming.

That is, until my dear little baby Carter intervened. Otherwise known as the toddler tornado, he rarely takes a break to sit still for more than a couple minutes at a time. He’s always on the move. Not today. Not in this moment.

He toddled himself over to the chair we were on and did the thing he does when he wants mom to hold him where he yanks at her scarf and essentially tries to climb her using her clothes. The second she obliged, it was like magic. He put his little head in that special spot by her heart and kept it there for what felt like a really long time to all of us (though I think it may have only actually been about 20 minutes). Time paused and I knew in that moment mom believed it would be okay.

I may be able to read people really well, but I may never understand what was bothering mom today. In that precious bubble in time, I realized that’s beside the point. Because I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that my dear 13-month-old Carter knew mom needed a hug today. Not just any hug either. She needed a little hug only he could give. So he gave it with all his heart, at least until one of the toys in the corner caught his attention and he was off to the races again.

Today he gets the credit. And I’m okay with that.

 

Just A Little Time February 8, 2015

It doesn’t take much. An hour, or even a few short minutes seem to do the trick. It can’t be doing something for work either. It has to be something at least semi-spontaneous or fun. Like a quick coffee or lunch date. Or a walk around the mall. Or even grocery shopping. Sometimes a momma needs just a little time away. All Smiles

I used to see it as an insult, not just for me but for dear baby Carter and dad too. Like what do we all do that is so tremendously awful that we drive her to a place she feels like she needs to escape? Recently I’ve realized that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Because before there was Carter and before there was me and before there was dad, there was mom. She had friends and family then, sure. But she decided things like what she wanted for lunch with little-to-no struggle. It was not a decision she was making with a family in mind, but rather simply for herself.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think she wants to go back to that place in her life. I know she loves me and dad and Carter bigger than the sky. (She even says so out loud from time to time). That doesn’t change the fact that she, like any other person, occasionally needs a moment to recollect herself. To hit the proverbial reset button if you will.

It happened today for a bit with aunt Morgan and later with a close friend of hers. I’m not sure what she did with each of them, but something kind of special happened when she returned from her second outing. She came home with a big smile on her face and wasn’t in the house more than five minutes when it happened.

She gathered up “her boys” (as she calls us sometimes) and said “I love my little family.”

It’s not that she didn’t love us before she left. But something about being away that little bit of time (I think it was a whole hour) focused her heart in a way few other things can. That’s a little time well spent in my mind.

 

Forget and Forgive February 1, 2015

I used to think it wasn’t possible for someone’s brain to be somewhere apart from their body. I’ve heard it talked about in the people circles I follow, but it never made much sense to me. Though I consider myself quite philosophical, my sense of all things literal has a tendency to take it too far occasionally. I think that’s why it always sounded strange to me that a mind could be “somewhere else.” Motion

That is, until today. I’ve seen it from time to time in other situations too, but never has it been quite as blatantly apparent as it was throughout my Sunday.

It was a fairly dreary day around here, but I have a fresh blanket of snow blanket diamonds in my backyard. I was grateful for it, too, since the first time it happened I was outside. I was enjoying the peaceful beauty of the fresh snow when mom called me in, so I opted to stay outside. That decision ultimately lasted a wee bit longer than I would have chosen. I would get it was about a half hour or so before mom called for me to come inside again. Though I was perfectly happy out there, I realized as she brought me back in that she forgot about me until then.

It happened a second time when she and Carter went upstairs to make dinner. I took my time following them, only to be greeted by the closed baby gate at the top of the stairs. I understand this is for dear baby Carter’s safety, but I can’t say it’s my favorite thing in my forever home. It wasn’t until a half hour later when dad got home from that place called work and let me upstairs the rest of the way that I rejoined society again.

One last time it happened with all three of my family members, including dad. My food and water bowl has been temporarily sequestered in a bathroom to prevent Carter from splashing water and sampling from my kibbles. In order to allow me some much-needed privacy while eating, mom shut the door to allow me to eat in peace. In itself, this is not such a bad thing. But another half hour went by before I was rescued from the bathroom.

If I didn’t know better, I’d be pretty hurt by all of this. I would feel forgotten and few things are as disappointing and heart-wrenching as that feeling in my world. But I get it. The mind does wander off to other places sometimes. It’s okay. Regardless of this, I know the love is always there. The heart never leaves, even if the mind does from time to time. That’s what matters to me anyway.

 

Proud of ‘Ya January 26, 2015

I never met the man, but from what I hear he was pretty special. He was smart. He was stubborn (in good ways as much as bad). And he was a good dad to my dear forever mom. He left for heaven a few years ago, which was far too soon in the opinion of those who knew and loved him. Be What You Believe

But like most of those beloved friends and family members looking down on us from heaven, he makes his appearances from time to time. Today it happened when my mom reminisced with dad over dinner about something her father used to say. Dad told mom he was proud of her for her recent blogging efforts.

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but she’s a writer too. And recently she’s just started writing posts for an exciting new web site called LadiesLife.com. After less than a week, the posts she’s written are doing incredibly well, which has been a source of celebration around my forever home.

“Proud of ya,” her father used to say, in a teasing and slightly-deeper-than-usual voice. It was kind of an inside joke for her and her family growing up, one she shared with dad tonight. I’m not sure how, but it was like he read my mind when as he responded to her, saying exactly what I wished I could say.

“You know he’d be so proud of you, right?” he said. “And not just for your writing, but for being such a great mom.”

I knew tears would likely come next, but I also knew they weren’t the bad kind.

I never met the man, but from what I hear he was pretty special. He was smart. He was stubborn (in good ways as much as bad). And he was a good dad to my dear forever mom. I know she misses him sometimes more than others. I also know tonight was one of those times. But I also know what my forever dad said was true. Her father would be so proud of her. And, when it comes to missing someone, knowing that means an awful lot.

Check out the LadiesLife.com posts here:

http://ladieslife.com/7-things-no-one-told-you-about-being-pregnant/

http://ladieslife.com/think-youre-ready-bring-baby-home/

 

No Place I’d Rather Be January 23, 2015

I don’t have this problem very often. While not always the most succinctly, I can usually find a way to describe most things. Yet today I struggle. Because where I come from there are no right words to describe this sound.

It was different than it was in those first few months when dear baby Carter would cry. Though it had a way of tearing at mom’s heart, we all came to understand it was simply his only means of communication then. Over time, he has developed a myriad of other ways to tell us all what’s going on in that curious little mind of his. So now when the crying happens, we know it’s really something bad. Wiles and Carter

Especially when it’s more than your ordinary run-of-the-mill sleepy or hungry cry that does occasionally still happen. This was in a realm all its own. It was piercing. His little face was turning purple. And nothing (and I mean nothing) seemed to help. Except being in the arms of my dear forever mom, but even then the screaming continued.

Until it happened. Mom thought to cue up a familiar song on the music player and when those thoughtful notes entered the room I could almost see Carter’s body relax. He was still pretty upset about who knows what (mom thinks it was gas or something), but the crying was noticeably mitigated when the music started.

“Someday I wish I upon a star, wake up where the clouds are far behind me…where trouble melts like lemon drops high above the chimney top that’s where you’ll find me,” sings Hawaiian musician Isreal Kamakawiwo’Ole in a way only he could. “Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly. And the dreams that you dare to…really do come true.”

It’s our song, mom whispered into Carter’s ear as he snuggled his bright red, tear-soaked face into her chest. And I know it’s going to sound crazy, but I knew in that moment something it is hard to put into words. A mother’s love. From the ground up, it’s about as unconditional as it gets.

I knew it when the crying first started. I knew it even as the crying ramped back up a bit as mom fiddled with the gadget to get the song to play again. I knew it when it quieted down. And when he snuggled his mommy. There is no place either of them would rather be.

 

The Nakie Baby Run January 21, 2015

It could be the belly that is somehow tiny and bulbous simultaneously. Or the bony knees that seem to bounce higher in the air than usual. Maybe it’s the sight of both sets of baby cheeks out there in the open.

Whatever the reason, there is a new thing in my forever home that is guaranteed to be an emotional game changer. And it’s been happening more and more frequently as dear baby Carter’s mobility evolves. The nakie baby run. From the ground up, few things evoke a response like the nakie baby run.Recylce This

It happened today when mom attempted a sleuth-like diaper change in an out-of-the-ordinary location in the house. I’m not sure what she was thinking since the child quite literally never stops moving. (The sitting down or crawling days are long gone now. These days, it’s more of a constant jog throughout the house.) She was also changing his water-soaked clothes, and I would swear he had his escape route planned from the minute that onesie got unsnapped. The second the diaper was off, he combat rolled out of the way and off he went. Belly. Knees. Cheeks. Laughter. So much laughter, from everyone involved.Carter

I (obviously) got involved, immediately assuming my play stance with him. We did a little jig, he and I, both in our birthday suits. More laughter.

Finally, as mom composed herself enough to wipe the (laughter-related) tears from her eyes, she was able to wrangle him in for long enough to diaper and dress him some clean clothes.

And, just like that, the moment passed. But as I thought about it, and all the joy that such silliness can bring, I realized maybe it’s all of it. The belly and the knees and the cheeks. It’s all a part of what seems to bring out the inner child (or in my case, puppy) in all of us. I don’t care what anybody says about being grown up or mature. Sometimes that inner child needs to get out of those clothes and dance around nakie with one arm waving free. Figuratively speaking, of course.