In thinking about the concept of joy for this week’s prompt I was mentally bombarded by the expression ‘bundle of joy’. For a parent, I think you just automatically begin associating the strong emotions you feel with your children. And joy is a strong emotion – it is bigger than happiness, more powerful than contentment. It is sheer, unadulterated rapture.
When you hear someone described as having a ‘joie de vivre’ – it automatically makes you gravitate towards that person, ready to be swept along by their enthusiasm for just being in the world and yet, at it’s heart, for me, joy is in single moments – yes, of course that first time your baby smiles at you, but also, an unexpectedly beautiful sunset, the day your solicitor tells you you’ve finally exchanged on a longed for home, taking your first tentative step on a new adventure with all it’s promise – be that travel, a business venture or parenthood.
On another note, pride and joy go hand in hand right? I’m certain my children will bring me moments of great pride over the years – they do already! – and also joy, but I don’t want to be that parent that loses themself so completely in their children that there’s nothing left of who they are or who they were before. I don’t want to rely on my children to be my one true source of joy. Does that make me a bad mum? Selfish? I want to travel again – I want to see wonders of the world which will take my breathe away. I want to achieve personal goals that will add another layer to my story, my history.
I also want to guide my own personal bundles of joy towards their own experience of the rapture – which will get harder and harder as the years pass. Right now joy, for them, is in a fairground ride, an ice-cream from the van man or a particularly hilarious tickle fight. I guess the downside for them is that misery is in having a favourite toy nicked by their brother or being fed peas. Swings and roundabouts eh?