Joy Surprises - What Ed Sheeran Taught Me about Community

Last week I went to Ed Sheeran’s concert at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. I love his music and am always lifted and invigorated when I hear a talented performer give a live concert. At one point during the song, Sing, Ed had the whole audience participating in a round. I was in tears.

I think I cried because of his gift, I cried because I was filled with joy and was having a huge amount of fun. Most of all, though, I think I cried because it felt powerful to be part of a community creating something, even for one song. There was an intense feeling of belonging, of purpose and that the entire experience was bigger than any one person.

ed sheeran at Barclays Brooklyn


I feel that way about parenthood. We can’t do what we do alone and our children need more than just us. It goes beyond family; teachers, friends, doctors, clergy, and the people involved in our everyday communities are all part of the raising of our children. It is beautiful and part of the delicious recipe of what influences and inspires our children to be who they are.

With Portraits That Move, I am also trying to create that sense of belonging for parents. My hope is that when people see our videos, they will be able to relate, to laugh, to sometimes cry and to feel that they are not alone in the parenthood journey. I hope they can feel part of something with us. When we sit with our community, we feel wholly supported and that is deeply meaningful.  It is a true gift.

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