What’s The Third Best Day Of Your Life?

“Mommy, what’s the third best day of your life?”

Shawn asked me this question on Monday while we were waiting to be admitted for his second round of chemotherapy. We’d been to the oncology clinic, then to cardiology for some tests, and then back to the clinic for blood work and an exam, all to be sure that he was at a good point to begin his second round of chemotherapy. He was.

What’s the third best day of my life? Jeez, I don’t know. I couldn’t even tell you the first best or first worst day of my life off the top of my head, let along drill three deep. Where does he come up with these questions? Did he ask for the “third best” because the traditional answers to such questions for parents are the days that our kids are each born and he knows that I have two kids so by default those days would be numbers one and two? Is he old enough and experienced enough to even know about such traditions? Honestly, while seeing and holding both my children for the first time certainly does rate among the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had, their actual birth days weren’t all that great for me. I almost died on one of them. I deflected with “What’s the third best day of YOUR life?” He couldn’t answer either. He started talking about how he thought three day old babies would answer that question.

If you’ve followed along with us at all, you probably know that Bingo is one of Shawn’s favorite things to do at CHOP. It’s broadcast on the hospital TV channel. Weekdays at 2PM, you know what we’ll be doing, usually in our room, sometimes in the studio.

Since Lilly is not in school or camp this week, she came to visit us. She took the opportunity to be a guest caller at Bingo, as we’ve occasionally seen patients and siblings do. Tuesdays are now Musical Bingo. Shawn watched from his room. Lilly loves acting, public speaking, and cameras. She was so excited at the idea of being on TV, even just the in-house channel at CHOP. She was nervous at first but quickly settled seamlessly into the role. She was at home.


Here she is being introduced:


And then Shawn won:


My phone ran out of storage space right before she said “that’s my brother” with a gigantic smile as the other announcer said that “Shawn from 3 East” was the first winner. But I heard it and saw it and their father was upstairs in Shawn’s room, watching the same smile on his face. My stage-loving daughter was holding the mic as her attention-hating brother was watching his sister, the person he loves most in the world and vice versa, host his favorite thing to do at CHOP.

I thought of Shawn’s question from the day before. What’s the third best day of my life? For a moment, I considered that maybe this day was it.

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