Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

A Sea of Gray March 13, 2014

Apparently it’s normal. But I’m not going to lie, it is kind of freaking me out. I haven’t seen mom cry this much (this randomly) since the last time we watched Marley and Me. Which, coincidentally was today. (Probably not the best idea, given her tender emotional state).

I’m just glad it doesn’t seem to involve me. Or at least it didn’t, until I involved myself. She was crying tonight (for what seems like the millionth time in the last 48 hours) as she rocked baby Carter to sleep because it’s the last time she will do so on a weeknight before she’s working again. It seems a silly reason to me, since it will clearly not be the last time she rocks my dear little person to sleep. But its all going to be different now, she told dad. This Too Shall Pass

It has definitely become one of those lose-lose situations for dad and I, since neither of us can seem to say or do anything to help. So he did what he does best and gave her a hug and a kiss on the forehead and told her we have a lifetime of nights like this ahead of us. Which made her cry more. So I did what I do best and shoved my way into the love fest. Which made her cry more. You see? Lose-lose situation.

But as I thought more about it, it’s not so much the situation itself that seems to be causing these emotions. It’s the thought of transition. The fear of the unknown. I know it all too well. As a family we have been in flux for some time now waiting for the baby to arrive and living through the first precious months, and now moving on with life involves a different kind of change. Transition. From the ground up, it can be a pretty scary thing.

It reminds me a bit of the situation in our backyard right now. As much as I love snow, I cannot stand what it looks like in transition. It’s sloppy and goopy and (worst of all) an awful dreary mixture of gray and brown. A sea of gray. Not to mention the stuff underneath that apparently used to be grass. Now it just looks like mushy brown death.

Just as this is a normal occurrence, apparently this emotional struggle mom is encountering is also fairly common. But here’s the important thing. Eventually all of the gray snow melts away. The grass doesn’t stay brown and sloppy forever. In just a few weeks time, it will be vibrant and beautiful again. My backyard paradise will be restored. The same can be said for this time we are in right now – it’s messy and emotional and that’s okay. Because I know in my heart these fears will be brought to purpose and the sun will shine again.

 

 

Painted Baby Blue February 23, 2014

I thought we were past all of this. The exhaustion. The disoriented distracted state of mind. The emotional instability. But mom has seemed especially disheveled the last couple of days and I can’t put my paw on why. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love dear baby Carter. That simply can’t be the case as she tells him she loves him even more than she tells me. Something isn’t right.

Unbeknownst to my people I have done my own research on these things. Apparently it’s normal for new (especially first-time) moms to experience something called the baby blues. (It’s a good thing blue is one of the colors I can see). Usually it happens early on, within the first couple of days, and wears off over time. Feeling Blue?

That’s why I’m not completely convinced that’s what’s wrong. (But I’m ready with all kinds of love if it is). That, and the fact that it seemed at least mostly cured by something pretty silly today. I will never understand why people paint their nails. It’s enough of a rigamarole for me when I get mine trimmed. Mom frequently takes it quite a few steps farther when she gets her fingers and toes painted, blue of all colors. That’s what she did today.

She left dad and I alone with Carter (a fairly new and unfamiliar experience) and came back with a new color about her. I got the impression it wasn’t so much about where she went as it was that she went at all. It doesn’t mean she loves us any less. It doesn’t mean she wants to return Carter to the magical place he came from. She just needed a little time away to regroup.

I don’t think we can call this the baby blues. Because I think if we are all honest with ourselves, we all need that every now and then. A little time away to regroup. Whether it’s a five-minute walk around the office or a week away in a foreign place, experience demonstrates it does the body good. It doesn’t mean we love our lives any less. It just means we are human (or canine in my case). And, as Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle suggests, it fuels our drive to persevere.

“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements and impossibilities: It is this that in all things distinguishes a strong soul from the weak.”

 

In Spite Of It All February 13, 2014

It’s kind of a mystery to me. And I think dad feels the same way. Lately this thing has been happening that doesn’t really make sense. At least not when you hear of this thing called post partum depression. It’s apparently fairly common for women after they have babies to feel a little blue. For some, it’s manageable and goes away on its own. Others need help working through it.

My mom has needed no such managing or work. She has looked at baby Carter through the eyes of joy and love from day one. This, in spite of her incessant lack of sleep. This, regardless of spit up and stinky foofters and messy diapers and occasional bits of screaming for no good reason. This, even after what I witnessed the other day.

There she was, holding Carter in the air above her, telling him how much she loves him when bam. Spit up. In her face. And it wasn’t a little bit. We’re talking little bits of partially digested milk clumping in her eyelashes. But still she didn’t crack.Love

I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so happy as she’s been the last six weeks that she’s been home with Carter. So today I found myself wishing. Dreaming. It’s been so nice having her home all this time instead of at that place called work. She’s been a little preoccupied with Carter (obviously), but just having them both here with me during the days has been such a joy. Add to that how happy I’ve seen her and I’ve been one pretty blissful doggie.

I wish it could stay this way forever. I wish she didn’t have to go back to that place called work. I wish it could just be us three amigos against the world every day. We could go on adventures and explore new places together and I could show Carter my favorite hiding places at the dog park. Life could be grand.

Except for one thing. Mom is a pretty smart lady. I know she has a lot of schooling under her belt. And I know how happy she is when she accomplishes something or makes a difference at that place called work. I’m being selfish, I realized, and selfishness doesn’t get you anywhere.

It’s all a big mystery to me right now. A big mystery I can’t control. All caused by this one little person. It’s a wonder how something so little is actually so big.