by Beth Ann Morgan

We all need something to look forward to, especially in the darkest of times. About four years ago when our son, John, clung to life in the hospital, one simple request back on the home front ended up creating some of my daughter, Hannah’s, happiest memories during the most tragic times of her life.

I spent Saturdays at home during John’s extended stay, so I made a big deal about seeing Hannah and getting to spend time with her. On such a night, I’d battled three extra hours of traffic and returned from the hospital much later than I’d wanted to, totally and utterly exhausted.

She threw open the door with bells on. I greeted her royally and then grabbed my duffel bag.

“Come on, Sweetheart. Let’s get ready for bed. You have a big soccer game early in the morning.”

She bounded up the steps after me. We chatted for a minute while I unpacked my things.

“Hannah, would you please hand me some pajamas?”

“Sure, Mommy.” She leapt up and yanked open the drawer. “Which ones did you say?” Before I could answer, I saw her scoop out a top, then a nightgown, then another. “Wow! You have so many pretty and fun pajamas to wear.”

“Would you like to pick out the ones I wear tonight?”

Sharp gasp. “Really?” Her hand flew to her chest, then back to the clothes. “I would love to, Mommy!” She dug around and pulled out every item of clothing, finally deciding on a turquoise and white matching capris set. “This one!” she shouted.

It was one of the best things I ever did. Without realizing it, I had given her something fun and pretty to do but more importantly control. I saw in that moment how much that choice meant to her and made a decision of my own.

“Tell you what, Hannah, how about you pick out my jammies every Saturday night?”

“Really? You mean it, Mommy?” She clasped her hands together. “Yes, yes! I will! Oh, thank you, Mommy. I love you.”

In months to come, she looked forward to Saturday nights more than ever. She made plans about which pajamas she would pick and frown if I wore on Friday the pajamas she planned to pick on Saturday.

“Take them off!” No rest and no peace until they were back in my drawer.

It wasn’t always convenient, but I didn’t mind. She needed it, depended on it, perhaps too much, but in some way, I believe it helped her immensely.

Something simple yet fun, something to look forward to. May God grant us all some small thing such as pajama picking in the midst of every storm.

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