Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

All That Worry March 1, 2015

I guess you could say I’m a sore loser. I’m not ashamed to admit it. The simple truth is I don’t particularly care to engage in things that I don’t think I can excel at. I prefer to quality over quantity anyway.

So you can imagine my dismay when certain things in my life that are completely beyond my control. If I had my way, there would be no worry or stress or anger in the lives of my loved ones. But alas, none of that falls within my realm of reason.The "stuff" and me

Instead I watch as people I care about, namely my forever mom, let things bother her to the point of sleeplessness and restless anxiety. The worry is real, and I don’t fault her for that. Yet things have a way of coming full circle emotionally in such a way that I wish we could just bypass the stress and get right to the relief.

Take the scare mom had with her pregnancy recently. She haunted herself by consulting Dr. Google for answers about something she should have just listened to her doctor about. As a result, she became so blinded by the worst case scenario that hope seemed like a distant memory.

Then this week, she got confirmation from her doctor that everything worked out. The concern is no longer a concern. Cautious optimism has been replaced by relief.

Which leads me to question what the point of worry is in the first place. Or really any negative emotional struggle people face. Hence my constant inner struggle.

Because I can’t control it. I can’t win every battle. And as much as I hate any lose-lose situation, I know we can’t win them all. Fortunately, I also know we don’t have to. So many times I find any battle worth fighting is most likely also a battle worth losing. Life has taught me things have a way of working out in spite of our best efforts to complicate things. So in reality, many of our short-term losses are actually long-term wins. It just takes a little time for us to realize it.

 

 

With the Lamp Lit February 25, 2015

I don’t understand any of it. But I’m a dog, so I think that’s okay. What I do know is all that worry weighing on mom’s heart a couple of weeks ago has been has been lifted slightly. At least for now.

When she left dear baby Carter and I with Aunt Morgan, I could tell her nerves were getting the best of her. I knew wherever she was going something important must be happening. So I wished and hoped and did all I could to send all things positive with her as she left a very upset (very teething) Carter behind to tackle whatever she was about to do. In the Deep End

When she returned home, she was a different person. Even her step looked lighter. (Well, as light as it can be at six months pregnant). I stood by listening anxiously as she filled Morgan in with all kinds of technical medical jargon that went in one ear and out the other. But I didn’t need to understand any of it except for a few precious words.

It’s better than it was, so that’s a good sign.

That’s all I needed to hear to breathe my own sigh of relief.

Meanwhile, I know the journey isn’t over. We are not out of the proverbial woods just yet. Mom gets more information from her doctor on Friday, and I’m hopeful there is more good news. Until then, I shall follow mom’s lead and proceed with caution until at least Friday (if not longer, depending on what the doctor says).

Because while I share in the enthusiasm and overall anticipation to meet this new little person, I do understand he or she shouldn’t be meeting us just yet for health and safety reasons. So we will wait, cautiously, but somehow I knew in my heart what I saw in mom’s eyes today.

Hope. From the ground up, it’s a pretty powerful thing. Christian author Tertullian certainly thought so when he said “hope is patience with the lamp lit.” I don’t need to understand anything about all things medical to know this as truth.

 

Too Much of a Good Thing February 15, 2015

I’ve got nothing against cats. Or their curiosity. Yet I’ve heard once or twice this thing people say about how curiosity killed the cat. I know it’s just a philosophical anecdote, and therefore falls into a category of phrases I don’t particularly trust.

I also know we canines have our own level of curiosity that can get us into trouble sometimes. In my case, I usually find myself getting into mischief when I blindly follow my nose to places like garbage cans and freshly folded laundry. Those stories never end well for me. Mom and I

Lately, I’ve noticed a similar pattern among some of my dearest loved ones. Except that instead of following their noses, they’ve been following their fingers on a keyboard that leads to nothing but heartbreak and fear. They have brilliant doctors who they trust and yet they are turning to the internet for answers to some of life’s challenging health questions. And I don’t need to understand anything medical to know that is not the right place to turn.

Research, like many good things, can be taken too far. In this case, it is being taken to places where my dear forever mom is put on bed rest and can’t take care of dear baby Carter or the new little person, who may be born too early. Or (gulp) maybe not be born at all if things end badly.

These are all the absolute worst case places that my dear mom has (admittedly somewhat irrationally) allowed the internet to take her mind. And her heavy heart for that matter. All because of a little (albeit serious) complication that’s arisen in her pregnancy with our new little person. A little complication that could just as easily resolve itself in the next few weeks.

I wish I could take the computer away. Because it’s nothing against cats or their curiosity. In her case it’s true. Curiosity can kill the cat. It’s all too easy to head to the worst case place in your head with the help of too much of that good thing called research. Though moderation is never an easy thing for a dog, I can give it the respect it deserves. Now if only I could figure out a way to get mom to do the same.

 

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.

 

Can’t Take Me With You December 12, 2013

Sleep has become a hot ticket item in the Schmidt house lately. The grunts and groans mom makes have increased in frequency and intensity. Something called indigestion has taken over mom’s life (or so she says). And it all has me a little bit jumpy.

Which way to the hospital?Until today. Today mom and dad went to that place called the doctor and got some good news. The baby is not in mom’s ribs anymore! In fact, my future little person has moved down into a position that is apparently quite safe for delivery.

They were talking in a bunch of numbers (something about centimeters and percentages and measurements) but it’s all Greek to me. What I gathered from the mood was this was all good news. So I should have been thrilled. Instead I felt a little betrayed.

Earlier today I wandered my way into the bag for the hospital. The good news is it is all packed up and ready to go. The bad news is there’s no room for me to be in it. I wouldn’t expect to be because of safety issues, but I realized today that’s not the real problem. The real problem is there is no room for me at the hospital either. No doggies allowed. How am I supposed to protect mom and the little person (and, let’s be honest, dad) if I am stuck at home? They rescued me. They are my people. I would be lost without them.

All of this sent me into what I guess you could call a doggie panic attack this afternoon while I waited for my people to return from the doctor. It was the closest I’ve ever come to doing something naughty (mom did leave those shoes by the back door that would have been mighty tasty). But I resisted the urge and I am so glad I did. Because when they returned with all of this good news I realized there will be no shortage of joy when they leave me behind to go to that hospital place.

And it wasn’t too long after they finished reminiscing about how soon everything will change that I saw it. A picture of me had made it’s way into the overnight bag. I don’t know how I’d missed it earlier. There I was in all my goofy glory, smiling at nothing in particular. And I felt relieved. Because I might not be able to accompany them, but I will certainly be there in spirit.

 

Wonder of Wonders November 23, 2013

Grunting. Groaning. Grimacing. Mom has been doing a whole lot of these things lately. “Don’t mock me,” she said tonight (when dad started teasing her about the proceeding grunt), “I’m growing a person here.”

Apparently that person is making basic things-like breathing-very challenging these days. And something has caused the ribs on her right side to be in a great deal of pain. Her doctor person has said this “popped rib” could be caused by a myriad of things relating to the pregnancy, including (but not limited to) the fact that baby Schmidt is currently sideways. My future little person is sideways and kicking on mom’s ribs from the inside.

JoyIt all sounds so awful. And it is painful to watch. Again dad and I stand by, longing to help somehow, but knowing there is nothing we can do. Until today. Today we were all reminded what is happening (albeit it uncomfortable right now) is a pretty spectacular miracle.

A banner told me so. “A Little Miracle,” it read. It was part of the decorations at grandma’s house for the baby shower, which I now know is different from the shower in the bathroom where my people clean themselves. (I was in quite the quandary the last time my people left to go to a shower).

But I’ve since learned my lesson. This is a different kind of shower. This is a type of showering of love on a person (or people) celebrating something special. This is a baby shower. And this time I even got to participate! It was very different than my last baby shower experience, when I relied only on the stories my people shared with each other afterward to understand the happenings of the day. This time I witnessed games and presents and (most importantly) joy. From the ground up, it was everywhere today.

It didn’t take long for me to realize today was about more than the bundle of joy. It was a celebration of the miracle of life. I know it hasn’t felt much like a miracle lately with all the grunting, groaning and grimacing going on. But it’s not about that. It’s about the miracle. The life. My mom is indeed eight months into growing a person. And from what I can tell as an observer it’s not an easy job. American author Norah Ephron went as far as to suggest “if pregnancy were a book they would cut the last two chapters.”

I may not be the one going through it (watching it is painful enough for me), but I can honestly say I can’t even consider cutting the last two chapters. Because it’s a miracle. It’s life. The end is the beginning. And I can’t wait for it to start.