Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

A Heart Full February 27, 2015

There are now two cribs in my forever home. Two closets filled with tiny clothes. Two car seats. Two changing tables. And if I’m being honest, it’s all a bit overwhelming. But if there is something I would prefer not to hear again any time soon, it’s a set of words I find condescending and unnecessary.

“You’re definitely going to have your hands full,” people have been saying to my forever parents. It’s been uttered by friends and family. It’s been referenced by doctors and nurses. It’s even been joked about by complete strangers at the grocery store. And while 18 months (to the day) is not a big gap between little people by any means, it is certainly not one to be condescending about either. Thinking in the Nursery

Because while this may not have been in my parent’s play book for the ideal sibling spacing situation, it wasn’t up to them. From my perspective, it may not have been their plan, but it was certainly God’s plan. And that’s what matters.

Now that I’ve experienced infancy through early toddlerhood, I feel like I can say with some sense of (albeit doggie) authority that I think any sort of spacing would come with its fair share of pros and cons. In our case, I’m happy my people won’t be pushing the reset button after Carter is grown enough that they have forgotten how to survive through sleepless nights. Diapers and bottles and all things baby are all still fresh on their minds.

I know it won’t be easy. I’m just mentally prepared for a couple of pretty challenging years.

But beyond any of that, I heard mom say something today that put things in perspective for me. She was on the phone for work and I’m not sure who she was talking to. I cringed when I heard whoever it was say “you’re going to have your hands full.” Mom didn’t bat an eyelash.

“That’s probably true, but at least I’ll have a heart full too.”

It’s true there are now some doubles of baby things in the house. Soon it will probably look even more like a day care than the organized oasis of peace I once knew. But I’m okay with that. Because I know what mom said is true. These things are signs of what is to come. Right along with the extra crib and diapers and sleepless nights will be more love than any of us knew we even had in our hearts. And that right there is more than worth the extra trouble.


Stranger Danger October 5, 2014

I’ve never been sure whether to take it as a compliment or a criticism. I’ve heard mom say it a bunch when she’s trying to wrangle me in at the end of a visit to the dog park. I’ve heard her say it when we’re walking around the neighborhood. And, I’m not too proud to say, I’ve heard her say it when I’ve run away. I’m a fickle dog. I’d go home with anyone.

Truth be told, I’ve always thought she was right. Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I fear it has become one of those things that may or may not have been true that I have come to believe as truth because of how many times I’ve heard it.

That all changed today. I was on the floor with dear baby Carter. We were playing around with his big huge box my beloved people recently crafted into a discover fort. There are circles and triangles and squares and he loves it so much when he sees me through one of the “windows” even though I think he’s pretty silly since I’ve obviously been there all along. Deep thinking Wiles

But today as I enjoyed play time with him, I thought about him meeting strangers. And I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the idea of him going home with another doggie at the dog park. I didn’t like the thought of him living in some other forever home in my neighborhood. And I certainly don’t like thinking about what would happen to him (let alone my people) if he ever ran away.

So I guess you could say the tables have turned. I used to think maybe I could go home with anyone, just like mom always said. I never was sure whether to think of it as a compliment or a criticism. And I certainly love many, just as I always say I do. But while I may have thought all of these things were possible from myself, I learned an important lesson from Carter today. I find that’s been happening lately. Whether I like it or not, this little person who screeches and pulls my fur and says “doggie” now has started teaching me things. Who would have thought.

I learned to more carefully live the philosophy I’ve proclaimed as mine. Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe. Unless it’s with my forever family. I’d paddle them to wherever they want to go. Because there are things that make us uniquely us. There is a language that is uniquely ours. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything.



Getting to Know You September 5, 2013

It’s embarrassing to the wrong person. Not to me.

My mom has this habit of making friends wherever she goes. She looks them in the eye. She asks about their families. She gets to know them. Lana the customer service representative from Walgreens. Linda the administrative professional at the local school district. Mary the librarian. Georgia the checkout clerk at the grocery store.

Lana. Linda. Mary. Georgia. And that’s not all. I think dad finds it kind of silly, but I kind of like it. It stems from her belief in respecting the person behind the people you encounter every day.

And it happened again at the dog park today when we encountered familiar faces attached to both two-legged and four-legged personalities. She chatted with some of the other owners while I roughhoused with Luke (the Marmaduke), chased Lilly (the Carin Terrier mix), and (ahem) did some unspeakable things to an unprepared Beagle mix named Daisy.Giggles

Amidst the chaos of all of my usual dog park mischief, I heard her laughing with the other ladies and paused. I wondered in that moment what could happen if I too adopted this philosophy of putting myself in the stranger’s shoes. Being present with others, no matter how small a role they play in my life.

I took a long look at Luke, who (at the age of 12) has become somewhat of a legend at my dog park. He is wise in his older age, and is kind enough to humor little stinkers like me nipping at his heels. Lilly the Carin Terrier mix has a similar background to me, coming from a rescue. She is a big sister to two little people and (from what I can tell when we play chase) I’m sure she takes very good care of them. And Daisy. Well, she is beautiful. She reminds me of my dearest long lost (somewhat girlfriend) Taffy who lives far away now.

Luke. Lilly. Daisy. These are characters in my life, each with their own story making up their unique journey. I think that’s easy to forget sometimes, amidst the roughhousing, chasing and other distractions in our day. Sure, life is busy, but every now and then I need a reminder that life is busy for everyone. Every character we come across in our day has his or her own family and friends, stressors and joys.

It’s an interesting cycle really. The characters bring joy to my mom who brings joy to them. Because taking time to indulge in these little conversations can be just that. An indulgence in interpersonal relationships. And that’s nothing to be embarrassed about if you ask me.