Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

From Now On February 24, 2014

It’s the same thing every night. Eat, bathe, cuddle, sleep. I don’t know about baby Carter, but its a routine with which I could get pretty comfortable. My role in all of it is pretty minimal. I usually oversee the bathing process and lay patiently on the rug I know is just for me in Carter’s room while mom rocks the baby to sleep. Soothing sounds fill the room and I frequently drift off to dreamland myself, albeit temporarily.

Tonight was different. Tonight I put my paw down. I’ve had enough of this cuddling business not involving me so I quit laying idly by. Instead I hopped myself right onto the tiny portion of lap mom has to spare on the rocking chair and laid myself down. I stopped watching and started living (or, more accurately, cuddling) in that moment. And it was grand. Is it cuddle time yet?

Baby CarterI was quite comfortable drifting into dreamland there in our cuddle bubble. What happened next took me by surprise given the intense feelings of joy I felt just a few moments prior. It was Carter’s 12th birthday (in people years, not dog years) and he was blowing out the candles on the cake. I waited patiently to see myself, pestering my way into the mix to get a lick of frosting as I tend to do. But I never came. I wasn’t there to see Carter turn 12.

The image jolted me right out of dreamland and back to reality. And (for once) I’m so glad it did. Because there I was, cuddling with my forever mom and my little person. Joy. From the ground up, it overwhelmed my little doggie heart in those precious moments together.

Because my dream tonight contained within it a wake up call. There is a chance I will still be around to get that lick of frosting after all. But it’s more likely I won’t.

Eat, bathe, cuddle, sleep. It’s the same thing every night and promises to be that way for the foreseeable future. Some might see it as monotonous, but (as is typical to us canines) I find routines soothing. They bring order to a world that can seem chaotic at times. In those moments, those precious moments, the world is exactly as it should be. I think I will be sneaking my way into cuddle time more often from now on.

 

The New Normal January 31, 2014

This I did not expect. Or at least not to the extent to which it’s happened. Change. From the ground up, change has been the name of the game in the Schmidt household for the last month. One month ago today, my little person entered the world. Happy One Month!

This Boppy Thing is for me right?I thought I was ready. From the gadgets scattered all over the house (most of which I didn’t understand) to the stacks of baby books I helped mom page through, we were set. But I was wrong. What I wasn’t expecting was admittedly the most obvious of things. Change. To my days. To my nights. My life as I knew it has not been the same.

We canines are creatures of habit. We love our routines. Prior to baby Carter’s arrival, I had come quite accustomed to the everyday routine around here. That has all been thrown to the wayside for the last four weeks or so, and I can’t say I liked it at first.

But today I occurred to me. Dad asked if I wanted to go on a car ride, my first with my little person and my forever people. It was a short ride involving the thing my people call errands, but it meant the whole wide world to me that I was invited along to enjoy the occasion.

That’s when my heart and mind came together in the realization that it’s going to be okay. This is our new normal. We’ve settled into new habits and new routines. There are remnants of the time before that have melded seamlessly with all that has changed. Sleep is still tough to come by (for all of us), but most other things have hit a stride. And my people are happy (albeit overtired) so that means I am happy.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change,” American self-help writer suggests.

I’ve never been that big a fan of change. I wasn’t expecting it, wasn’t prepared for it, and now that it is happening, I can’t say I liked it at first. But one month ago today, my life changed forever. We may not be getting much sleep. And literally everything about our routine has been uprooted and updated. But this new normal looks pretty good from where I’m sitting. Change. From the ground up, it’s not so bad after all.

 

A Little Kick October 4, 2013

Habits. Good, bad and ugly, we all have them. Some are so ingrained into our daily routines we probably don’t even realize it’s happening.

Lately I’ve been going about my nights mindlessly following mom. This is not that out of the ordinary, as I love her and would literally follow her anywhere. Consequently, it’s no surprise I get nervous when she gets into that shower contraption. Perhaps its because I know how accident prone my mom is (bless her heart). Perhaps it’s a projection of my own dislike for baths, showers, and all things that take away one’s natural smell. Regardless of my reasons, I think mom senses my discomfort as she always puts a towel down in front of the shower for me to lay on while she’s inside.Happy Happy

Tonight’s shower followed an event I’m not sure I’ll ever forget. It’s almost as if it snapped me from habit mode back to reality. It sent me into a tailspin so intense I wasn’t even sure it was real at first. I thought I certainly must be delusional. There I was, minding my own business, sprawled out on mom and bam! Something was moving! I’ve gotten so used to the calming lull of the baby’s heartbeat, but this was it’s own special kind of magic.

And I will admit – it startled me a bit. I can’t explain why I reacted like I did, rearing up like I would to evoke play with another dog at the park. My tail wagged. My heart raced. The baby is kicking! My little person is saying hi to me! I could hardly believe it.

So when it came to shower time tonight, I was not in doggie robot mode. Far from it. I was on a mission. I have a real live little person to protect after all. Instead of laying down like usual on my special towel, I stood/sat guard while mom showered. And as I did, I’m not sure which worked more furiously – my heart or my mind.

It was a refreshing vacation from my habitual approach to the nighttime routine. Not that habits are such a bad thing. I am a canine after all, and us canines are known for our appreciation of structure and routines. But the magic that happened tonight was a spark all its own. A moment I will remember always. A reminder that sometimes we need a little kick to remind us to pause and appreciate the world around us.