Find Joy

Joy is on the move.

Joy has watched (and helped) Mom and Dad pack up and move from the house in Crestwood to a house in St. Charles and to another house in St. Charles. In just eight months.  

Joy looked on as Peggy painted the walls of the new house while Mom and Booshie unpacked and set up the new kitchen and Dad shampooed rugs. Joy unpacked her favorite toys as well as the bathroom essentials. Joy put three tubes of toothpaste in the tub, as well as socks, shoes, toys, toilet paper, and dry shampoo.  Joy found a red pencil in Dad’s new office and decorated the white walls in the finished basement.

Dad and Peggy built beds that arrived from Amazon and secured bookshelves to the walls. Joy climbed up into her kitchen stool and pointed at the refrigerator, demanding smoothies and juice and Cheerios and ice cream. Joy likes the smoothies to be made in the Ninja blender, which must be operated inside the kitchen cabinet (fewer decibels on her delicate ears).

Mom organized the closet in the master bedroom while Joy “organized” her room. Booshie organized the bathrooms. Dad moved boxes from the garage to the basement while Joy escaped from the new house to play in the street.

So I met some very nice neighbors (a man and a woman) on the day after move-in.

The doorbell chimed. Immediately, I thought, Where’s Joy? I ran to the door.

I opened the door. A lady was standing on my new porch. “Hi. I’m your neighbor Cheryl. Is that your daughter sitting on the curb across the street?” Joy was indeed sitting on the curb. She was wearing a diaper. But nothing else. “She wouldn’t let me pick her up.”

I could have said something like, “Yeah. I thought she wandered out front. I was just heading out to get her.” But I had no idea she was missing.

“Hi,” I said. “Nice to meet you. Yes. That is Joy. I appreciate you saving her life and ringing my doorbell. We moved in yesterday. Excuse me while I run over there and get her before she takes off. I need to get door knob safety covers. Clearly.”

The other neighbor was standing in the street. He said, “I knew she belonged here. I recognized the truck. Y’all lived on Brookneal a few days ago. Right?”

“Yes,” I said.

I have ordered an ID bracelet for Joy. It will read: “I’m Joy. If lost, please call Dad 314-555-9645.”

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