Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

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.

 

Our Corner of the World January 8, 2015

Last night, words spilled out of my heart. Tonight I’ve got nothing.

It’s not like today was particularly different than yesterday. There was a fair share of ups and downs just like any other day. Dear baby Carter danced around like a ninny (on his own!) in the kitchen, which in itself was a joy-filled feast for the eyes. And earlier in the day, mom cleaned up what might have been the most horrifying diaper explosion anyone has ever seen. Ups and downs. But none of it was as prolific as everything that made yesterday what it was.

The more I thought about it, I started to realize something. Not every day is spectacular. Now is our present to do with what we will, but that doesn’t mean each day is filled with life-changing revelations. Every day is a gift filled with moments that flood our hearts with a variety of emotions. As it should be.

I watched it all today. The dancing. And the diaper change with the epic poop (so much poop). And the silliness that happened when mom and Auntie M went to get Carter as he woke from his mid-morning nap. He giggled a strange and unrecognizable giggle that is unlike any other I’ve heard of his. His whole little body shook with excitement at the sight of two of the people he loves most in this world coming to get him from a nap of all things.

“I have found that if you love life, life will love you back,” as American-Polish thinker Arthur Rubinstein suggested. It sounds simple, but maybe that’s the point. Carter loves life with his whole heart, regardless of what each day brings. I saw it today in his shameless giggle.

To think that after the magic I witnessed yesterday, I was under the impression I had a whole lot of nothing to share with the world today. I thought wrong. Because the more I thought about it, the more I realized how special even the seemingly uneventful days are.

Joy. From the ground up, it does not only live in prolific moments. It is all the little moments that make up our corner in this world.

 

 

Tiny Little Fingerprints January 7, 2015

It doesn’t happen often, but I think I spotted it today. The moment was fleeting, but it was there.

Every now and then, I think mom misses her old life. The one where she went to that place called work every day and talked with friends and customers and came home and made dinner and her and dad spent time together reminiscing and watching an occasional movie or playing a game. The one involving fancy business clothes and the lunch meetings at fancy restaurants. The one when there was more money coming in every month.

Cabin fever was the culprit when it happened today. I’m sure of that. With temperatures as frigidly cold as they have been, she has been working from home a little more than usual because negative degree temperatures are nothing dear baby Carter should have to face. Ground Up Thinking

And I’ve found something about days like this. The life of a mom. From the ground up, it’s not very glamorous.

Take today, for example. At one point this morning, mom had sleeves covered in some sort of baby food sludge. Carter had just managed to spill over the neatly folded basket of laundry onto the not-quite-dry kitchen floor into a heap of pants, shirts and pajamas. This happened about five minutes after he broke a measuring cup into hundreds of pieces all over the floor, which was already littered with the contents of several cabinets.

Mom scooped him into her arms to see if she could find something to occupy him long enough to allow her to reorganize the laundry. And that’s when it happened.

He grabbed her glasses off her face in a way only he can do and threw them on the floor. I saw it in that moment; one which I’m certain most moms have from time to time. I can’t even think of the best words to describe the feelings that I saw in the eyes of my dear forever mom. It doesn’t happen often, but it happened today.

And it didn’t last long. A few minutes went by before a sense of peace and order was restored, albeit brief. (It didn’t take long for Carter to create some other mess that would evoke fear and terror into the mind of any maid or housekeeper.)

Meanwhile, mom sat down to resume her work, and I noticed her take her glasses back off for a second. I watched as she examined her lenses, noting the tiny little fingerprints that were still very much plastered all over the place. I watched her smile the smile I’ve only seen since Carter was born. And I watched as she put the glasses back on without cleaning them.

She may have those moments from time to time. When she longs for the suits and lunches and all things business she left behind. When she wishes for the manicures and pedicures and massages that are for the most part a thing of the past. When she wants to be just her again.

But she’s a mom now. And that means she has tiny little fingerprints on her heart that can’t ever be washed away.