An Ode to Something Pleasant

When I told my daughter Stefani that I was trying to think of a poem-a-day for the month of April, she asked me to write a poem about joy.  I asked her if she meant “joy” as in happiness or blissfulness, or if she meant “Joy” as in the name that she’s recently started calling herself (for some reason still unbeknownst to me).  She replied, “Either one.”

Well, I thought for my daughter’s sake that I’d give it a try.  I really can’t wrap my head around calling her Joy, because to me she’s always been — and will always be — Stefani.  (It makes me wonder if, when Cher thinks of her firstborn, does she first think my daughter Chastity, or does her mind automatically now think my son, Chaz?)  So, I tried to write a poem about the blissfulness of joy.  But I just kept drawing a blank.  Then I tried to write a poem about my daughter with the word, or rather the name Joy included.  This comical rhyme is what was born:


(That’s Baby Stefani and me above – a brand new teenage mom.  Can you tell I had absolutely no clue what I was doing?)


Ode to Joy, Ode to Stefani
By: Rachel Carrera

This poem is for my daughter, Stefani,
Who calls herself Joy.
When she eats Chinese food,
She picks out the bok choy.

She likes to take road trips,
Like to Ohio and Illinois;
And she is as stunning and beautiful
As Helen of Troy.

When she was small, she would beg,
Or sometimes act coy,
When we’d go shopping together
And she wanted a new toy.

If you cross her, she might scheme
Or possibly use a ploy,
As she thinks of how she might get even,
As she thinks of how she might destroy.

Sometimes, she can get on my nerves,
Sometimes, she can annoy;
But always I love her,
And her company I enjoy.

This poem is for my daughter
Who might call herself Joy,
But to me, she’s my Stefani,
She’s my heart – the real McCoy.



49 thoughts on “An Ode to Something Pleasant

  1. That’s a head-scratcher. Stefani to Joy! Well, Rachel, I’m glad you had much fun by making a poem out of it. It’s her choice, after all. But I support your right as a mother to call her Stefani.

    The whole world calls my daughter Beth. Me? I still go with the given Elisabeth, every single time in her 24 years.

    You were a beautiful teen mom, and Joy is quite lovely. 🙂

  2. Rachel, I just love the freeflowing lightness I feel in your poem. This poem is as sweet as you and Stephani are beautiful. Roll with Joy …she’ll come back to Stephani but she always will be your Joy- even in the hard times

    • Thank you! Yes, she has had a share of hard times, and as her mama, I’ve had them as well. It’s hard to watch a train wreck, knowing you can do nothing to stop it, but she’s doing better now and I’m so thankful. 🙂

  3. I think it’s really wonderful that you have a teen-age daughter who wants to call herself Joy, what a blessing. She is expressing her wonder, gratitude, and appreciation for being who she is and the life she has. And that should make you feel joyful.

    • She’s actually 24 now, and I think she’s trying to reinvent herself. But she’s had a lot of hard times, mostly self-inflicted, so I am glad she’s taken up a new, positive outlook and is doing much better these days. Thank you! 😀

  4. Well done with the prose. Tricky challenge–on all accounts. The poem a day and the attempt to figure out what’s going on inside your daughter’s head. Those are the days filled with head scratchings.
    Cheers to you and your ode to joys. 🙂

  5. Despite the plethora of parenting books, we’re ALL clueless when we put our hands to the plough that’s called Motherhood. Then, just when we think we’re getting the furrow straight, along comes another kid, all different. Challenging, but do-able. No regrets.

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