Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Greatest Thing May 11, 2014

I think a lot of people think they know what’s coming. They’ve read the books. They’ve bought the supplies. They’ve been pregnant for nine months or ten or eight. I know the path to get there is different for everyone, but I think the outcome is the same. Or at least pretty similar.
No dogs allowed here. :(
Unconditional unspeakably sincere love. From the ground up, that is what I gather of motherhood. I’ve had a pretty vivid look into the ups and downs associated with this beloved title throughout the last few months. I would argue I’ve had the privilege of witnessing it for much longer than that, but when my dear little person was born – well, that sealed the deal.

Here’s the thing. I’ve been known to run away. To hide under the bed when the crying gets too much for me (or even when it’s slightly unbearable). I have this instinctual desire to make it better that balances itself with my selfish need to escape the situation. Mom has no such balance.

When baby Carter cries, it’s her instinct to heal what ails him. To fix it. Or at least to make it better somehow. The thing is it’s not always possible. Sometimes he just has a bad time of it. And I know this is certainly a very normal way to feel from time to time. I realized today it’s not that unlike the emotions I’ve seen mom encounter since she’s become a mother.

“Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing,” suggested American talk show host Ricki Lake. Certainly I’ve come to agree with both statements.

But I can’t say mom would. Regardless of the nine months of not-so-pleasurable pregnancy. The sleepless nights that followed. The breastfeeding (which I won’t even get into, because it was that hard an experience to watch at first). All of it. It has been far from easy. The opposite of great. Then there are those moments. The precious moments I am sure to participate in as frequently as possible.

I think a lot of people think they know what’s coming. But I’m not sure anything can fully prepare them for the snuggles. The smiles. The giggles. The developmental milestones he seems to be hitting well before what is considered to be the “norm.” These are all of the greatest things that more than snub out the hardest things.

 

Just What You’re Worth May 10, 2014

It made mom cry today. So I did what I do in such situations. I snuggled her while she cried. But there’s been a new addition to this situation in the last four months. His name is baby Carter, and I love him so. So does mom, which I think (at least partially) contributed to the tears today.

Because tomorrow is a special day around here. It is my dear forever mom’s first Mother’s Day. And I’m not going to lie. In my dear doggie eyes we have already been celebrating this holiday since I came to be in this, my forever home. Because But alas, now there is a little human puppy brother to really bring things to life and I cannot fault anyone from seeing it as the true first special day for my mom. She has, after all, been kind of beaming about it since a few days ago already.

But I knew it for sure today that this time was different. Because she and baby Carter have a song I’ve heard before once or twice. Or about a million times. Because since Carter was very small, she has either played or sung it to him. “Fix You” by Coldplay has become mom’s special song for Carter, because I know she doesn’t lie. She will fix him under any circumstance. She will love him above all else. She will always try to fix him even when he doesn’t realize he needs to be fixed. That is just what moms do.Love.

Tears often fall down his face for no good reason. And, sometimes as a result of those tears, we are so tired and still can’t sleep. But none of that matters. Because, like all those other moms out there, mom will try to fix any problem that arises. Because she loves baby Carter so much, it doesn’t matter what it takes.

It’s kind of a newfound thing around here. Because I know mom loves me. She always has, since that first day we made eye contact at the Oshkosh Humane Society. But I know (and respect) what she has with my beloved forever little person is different. He is her world now. And he is hers.

To me that is what causes tears like what I witnessed today. So I snuggled like I always do when my dear forever mom cries like she did today. She was clutching on to dear baby Carter as he clung to her. They love each other so. That might be what stands out most to me about that Coldplay song. There is a line “if you never try then you’ll never know what you’re worth.” And in that line I get it. Because I don’t think mother’s ever really understand what they’re worth.

My birth mom certainly didn’t. And I don’t think my forever mom could ever possibly know how much I appreciate her. So I can only imagine the level of awe dear baby Carter will have when he understands. If he understands. Because today when mom was crying as she held him close, I wondered if he could ever actually understand just how much she loves him. Just what he is worth to her.

Love. From the ground up, it happens with perspective. And experience. So I know for sure the tears of my dear forever mom will never be in vain. Because I know what she’s worth to me. Which is everything. Certainly baby Carter will feel the same way someday, if he doesn’t already.

 

Lanterns of Love May 12, 2013

Every visitor to she Schmidt home is welcomed by the same message above the stairway as they walk in the door. “Home is where your story begins.” I see it every day, yet today it speaks to me and I see it in a different light. I think it’s because today is mother’s day in my neck of the woods; a day set aside to show gratitude and respect for everything one’s mother has done in his or her life. I’m blessed to have more than one of these characters as lanterns of love in my life, so today I take a moment’s paws to recognize each one.

Dear birth mom,

It’s Wiley. Your son. I know it’s been a while (almost five years now), and words can’t tell you how sorry I am that is the case. Our time together was short-lived, but I want you to know how special each moment was to me. Age and experience has taught me how challenging it must have been caring for my two brothers and I all by yourself. I’m so proud of you. And I want you to know I’m okay. Well, actually I’m better than okay. I’m spectacular. I’m happy. And I found a forever home with people who love me so much they sometimes squeeze me so hard I can’t breathe. They take really good care of me, mom. I wish you could meet them and they could take care of you too. Are you okay out there? I sure hope so. You deserve to live happiness like this. Wherever you are, please know I love you now as much as I ever did.

With all the love in my little doggie heart,

Wiles

Dear Jo,

Remember me? I was your little buddy in the house with the man and the leather belt. I hate that he took me away from you that day all those people years ago. I miss you every day and pray you are living a the life you deserve to live, with any luck separate from that awful dad of yours. Even though you were only a little girl, I know you would have done everything you could to keep me from harm’s way. You were a hero to me, a mother in your own rite. If there is one thing I’d want you to know above all else, it is that you will be a fantastic mother one day. Never doubt yourself.

With all the love in my little doggie heart,

Wiles

Dear Katie,

You probably don’t remember me. I am one of so very many doggies you help at the Oshkosh Humane Society, and it’s been almost three years now since you last saw me. But sometimes it is those who we meet in passing that make some of the most distinguished impacts on our life, and this is true of you. You didn’t do it for praise or adoration, and that’s why every little thing you did for me meant so very much. You are a living example of a servant leader. Thank you.

With all the love in my little doggie heart,

Wiles

Dear forever mom,

Thank YOUI know you haven’t always been dealt the easiest hands of cards to play in life. I know you struggle with some things more than you let on.

More than once I’ve seen you stop and look away from yourself in the mirror, just like Sarah Ban Breathnach talks about in the early pages of Simple Abundance. I’ve seen you cry, and heard you question you direction in life. Sometimes you talk to me about your feelings and I wish more than anything I could tell you I understand (at least the majority) of what you’re saying. I’d start with telling you to see yourself the way the world sees you. You are beautiful, strong, and confident (even if you doubt it). You are more special to me than you will ever possibly know. As my number one fan, I know you are reading my blog, so I will share with you a sample of Breathnach’s words that speak to me.

“Turn away from the world this year and begin to listen,” she writes. “Listen to the whispers of your heart. Look within. Your silent companion has lit lanterns of love to illuminate the path to Wholeness. At long last, the journey you were destined to take has begun.”

I love you mom. Let me be a lantern of love for you.

With all the love in my little doggie heart,

Wiles

Home is where your story begins, and I can honestly say each of these women has been home to me. Lanterns of love for me. They are all important characters that define chapters of my life, and I would not be who I am without each and every one of them. Today I say thank you these women. And today I say thank you to all the women who are these characters to people (and pets) in your lives. You know who you are. Thank you.