Buying PJs for My Soldier-to-Be

Buying PJs for My Soldier-to-Be
Yesterday afternoon my daughter made a party in the yard with some friends in honor of her enlistment into the IDF today, while I sat at the kitchen table furiously labeling markers and pencils “with Yoni W. 1st Grade” as if my life depended it. My tension level was more suited to a surgeon clamping a major artery than a mother preparing her 8th child’s pencil case.
But, hey, it’s my first time sending a child into the army.
And sending a child to the IDF feels something akin to how Columbus’ mother must have felt bidding farewell to her son Chris in 1492. Sending a child off to the unknown. And once she lifts her anchor, there’s no heading back no matter how stormy the sea (or tough the basic training) gets.
At one point I headed outside to buy Maayan the enlistment gift she had requested, new PJs.
But at the store most of the PJs they sold featured Disney characters: Mickey Mouse, Dumbo, Daffy Duck. Hardly suitable for my soldier-to-be! Probably solid drab green would be more appropriate.
So I called over the young saleswoman to get her advice.
“Excuse me, but were you in the army? I’m looking for pyjamas for my daughter who is enlisting.”
“Yes, I was in the Air Force. I finished a few months ago.”
“Really? My daughter is going to be in the Air Force!”
To make a long story short, it turned out this saleslady had served in the same small unit Maayan will be joining. And since I was the only customer in the store, in addition to helping me choose out PJs, she answered my various questions about army life, which made me feel vastly calmer about Maayan’s upcoming journey.
Linoi (by that point we were on a 1st name basis) even gave me her number to call if Maayan or I had any questions whatsoever.
As I picked up the bag with PJs, I thanked Linoi profusely. And I hesitated whether I should say it or not, she didn’t look religious, maybe she wouldn’t understand? But I did anyway. “This is what’s called hashgacha pratit,” I said. Linoi just smiled, her nose ring a-twinkle.
(By the way, in the end, Maayan loved the PJs I got her. Dumbo, it turns out, is her absolute favorite.)


  1. May Maayan go b’shalom and return b’shalom!! May her new pajamas keep her enveloped in love and safety, wherever she may be!

  2. Loved this! Little sweet slices of life in Israel, and the bittersweet joy that is watching our babies grow up. Much hatzlacha in the army Maayan! You have a lot of “aunts” who are cheering you on!

  3. sheva lazaros

    wishing your dear daughter brachah ve hatzlachah..blessing and success in her service. may Hashem guard over our precious boys and girls serving in eretz yisrael.

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