Anand turned 26 this week, marking a decisive change in our relationship. He is now older than I was when he was born. The moment of realization that this is true, that your child has become an adult, is always startling, I suppose, but in fact it’s part of a process that has been going on for years – a process that for us has been (SO LUCKY!) mostly graceful and fun and a delight to look back upon.

Anand. His name means Bliss, Joy or “All Happiness” (as my father-in-law translated it for me once) – and he is that for us.

A friend of mine told me when he was young that in bringing up a child the important thing is to emerge with a person you want to spend time with, a person whom you like, a person who makes you laugh, a person who makes you glad to be alive.

That’s Anand.

As usual, I know mothers should not brag about their own children, but what to do? I can’t help it. When Cathleen arrived in the US to start college, Anand (who was still a struggling student himself) met her at the airport and took her first to the Apple store where he bought her a laptop. Then off they went to Verizon, where he bought her a top of the line cell phone. And the monthly bill for phone calls? “Put it in my name,” he told the woman behind the counter.

Many people are generous. Anand gives with an alacrity and elan that makes you feel you are doing him the favor by receiving.

Anand has always been my computer consultant – the one I automatically turn to when anything goes wrong. But lately I’ve been calling him for other things too – design questions, of course – but also strategy for our awareness campaign, how to handle tricky human relation issues at work, time management, the next big thing . . . I respect his advice and ideas and I look forward to his unique perspectives. He’s thoughtful, analytical and smart.

And funny! I keep a list of things I need to ask him about handy, but what I most look forward to is the way he makes me laugh. He makes me glad to be alive. Anand. All Happiness.

  • Peter Phun

    Congratulations on raising such a fine young man Jo. It's great to read success stories of parenting since the news is filled with ones of the failures.

    My own son, Gabriel, will celebrate his 14th birthday next Tuesday. We happen to share the same birthday. Best birthday present I ever got.

    Nothing can beat that for me.

    Best regards,

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