Happy World Joy Day

At 9:15 a.m. Tuesday morning, my iPhone was placed on my chest as I slept. A minute later a pair of jeans was tossed on my face.

I didn’t yet know it was 9:15. It felt like seven or seven thirty.

“Morning, Joy,” I mumbled. “Please, let Daddy sleep for five more minutes.” I put the phone on the nightstand and pushed the jeans off my face and onto the floor.

Joy picked up the jeans and dropped them on my face again. She put the phone on my neck. (Translation: Dad, put on your clothes, check email, and let’s get going on breakfast.)

“Okay, Joy. I’m up.” I sat up. I looked at my phone: 9:17.

Joy handed me a diaper and then she lay on the floor. I made the change.

“Let’s get some Cheerios,” I said. “I think we have chocolate milk today.”

Joy led me to the kitchen, where I put Cheerios in a bowl, chocolate milk in her cup, and water in the tea kettle.

Joy pointed to the fruit bowl on the counter.

“Hey, baby,” I said. “You want a banana?”

Joy smiled.

“Aw, Joy. The nanas are still green. We can probably eat them tomorrow.”

Joy started to cry.

Some things I can solve fairly quickly. I can make microwave popcorn in two minutes, eleven seconds. I can replace the batteries in a toy in about a minute. Diaper change: just over a minute. Warm bath: five minutes. And normally I can slice a banana in around thirty seconds. But today I was telling my little girl that Daddy couldn’t make sliced bananas until tomorrow (even though they’re right there on the counter).

So, I get the tears. Bananas are yummy. But they have to be just right. If I gave Joy a green banana, she would never eat them again.

I almost decided to make a trip to Schnucks to get bananas. (Our green ones were from Aldi.) But Joy had stopped crying and was playing with her Fisher-Price toys.

After breakfast, I gave Joy hugs and kisses. “Happy World Down Syndrome Day!” I said.

Joy said “love you” in the way that she does.

I could say that, at our house, every day is Down Syndrome Day. But it’s really not. In our house, every day is Joy Day. Joy lets us know what’s on the agenda. Today was: wake up Dad, diaper change, breakfast with Cheerios and milk, snacks (grapes and graham crackers), jumping, screen time (with dancing), playing with dolls, playing with Mary and Amanda, trip to Goodwill with Mom, visiting with aunts, stroller ride with Mom, drawing, nap with Mom, stacking blocks, and lots of love and hugs and kisses.

And tomorrow: BANANAS!

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