September 4, 2023 — The Meaning of Joy

Monday Morning Magic from Inkandescent® PR + Publishing Co. As most parents have experienced, there’s nothing quite so magical as when your child is happy. From the moment they pop into the world, that is the goal, the meaning, the purpose of our lives.

We spend so much of our parenting days ensuring they get a good education, find good friends and eventually good jobs, and live lives that offer them true happiness. Still, finding happy can often be hard.

But then there are those enchanted, spectacular moments when their lives ooze with a feeling that is perhaps more profound than happiness — the experience of pure joy. This is how I feel today as I look at the photo from the birthday party of my daughter Anna, who turns 28 today.

Like most 20somethings, she works hard to find what makes her truly happy. Certainly, it is not an easy journey for the children we have raised. From finding affordable housing and building a career that feels like the right fit to dealing with the fallout of global warming and a rocky economy, GenY and Z have their work cut out for them.

Yet, Anna has never given up on her goals, dreams, and determination to be the best version of herself that she can create. She has made it her life’s work to create photos and movies of people’s most special moments: weddings, babies, business openings, and celebrations. Anna says she follows the light and the love, and when you see her work, it’s easy to get sucked into the beauty she is moved by:

I often ask myself, what can I do to provide her with support? And then I remember — this is her work. For many of us, sitting on your hands and just watching our kids’ lives unfold is the hardest part of the parenting gig.

That’s when I turn to a poem by Merit Malloy entitled, Where Babies Come From. It reads: “There is a place lower than birth below the seed. It is where children give birth to parents.”

As I look at the photo of Anna enjoying delicious cake on a beach in Long Island with her friends (thank you Erika!), I am filled with the boundless joy this child has brought into my life. Gorgeous inside and out, she reflects to everyone she meets what it means to be honest, vulnerable, and true. Please join me in wishing her a very happy birthday!

Until next Monday: Seek out the people, places, and sweetest moments that bring you deep joy. — Hope Katz Gibbs, founder and president, Inkandescent® Inc.

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