The House Mother and Yaffa (our night counselor) wake us up. Yaffa likes to make silly jokes to get us to laugh and stop pretending that we’re sleeping. Then, they both help us get dressed and ready for school. I don’t like brushing my hair but the House Mother always notices and reminds me!
Now I have a lot of clothes, but when I came here I only had one dress. Chanie, the Shopping Counselor, took me on a shopping spree and bought me many beautiful things. If I feel like wearing something different, the Clothing Room is full of pretty things for me to choose from. I love looking pretty.
Breakfast is yummy. We get to eat salad, scrambles eggs and chocolate pudding. Sometimes, I sneak some pudding into my knapsack for my friends in school. They’re so jealous of me that I get pudding every day! Tammy (our day counselor) helps me prepare a bag for school and then gives me a kiss before I leave. I never told her but it makes me so happy when she does that!
(While the girls are in school...)
I’m always in school on time. Our House Mother says that it is important to be good students, and she knows everything. I try hard to listen to the teacher and remember everything, so that I can tell Estie (my tutor) and make her proud.
During recess, me and my friends play different games, but my favorite game is jump rope. You know why? My sponsor, Mr. Gluck, sent me a new jump rope for Chanukah, and now I get to be first and to choose the girls who will play. I make sure to include everyone – I don’t like seeing anyone sad!
We all go back home. I walk back with Tali and Oriyah. We are not the same age – Tali is really big! – but we are good friends anyway. Tali and I even secretly decided to be each other’s sister.
Back home we eat lunch. It’s my favorite meal! (The Lunch Room Lady knows that I love chicken and she always gets me another piece before I even ask.) I tell her and our House Mother and Tammy and all the girls about my day, and then the Lunch Room Lady gives us all dessert. Tammy always says that if I keep chattering, I won’t get any food into my mouth, but I manage!
After lunch we rest a bit. Tali usually goes to nap, but I don’t like to, so instead I play with other friends. Sometimes, I invite some of my classmates as well. Oriyah never does – she’s embarrassed, but I always tell her that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. None of her friends have pretty rooms like ours!
Estie is my tutor and I love her! I don’t really need a lot of help, but I like it when she sits with me and studies with me for tests. Then we talk about different things, and she gives me stickers that say “great job!” Then I get to show them to Mrs. Bernstein, who is in charge of our schooling and is in touch with our teachers. They both say that I’m a great student!
Tammy waits for us in the playroom, where we play some great games and do other fun things together. Sometimes we bake, sometimes we do arts and crafts, and sometimes we just talk about life and being different and other things. I like this time of day, but usually by this time I’m also starting to feel pretty tired.
Supper is my second-favorite meal of the day. It’s like breakfast, and we get to have salad and yogurt, but the cook always comes up with something yummy and hot too. And I love her baked ziti!
After supper we are all yawning and ready for bed. On my way to the third floor (where my room is), I go to Tali’s room to say good night. She is usually studying for tests or talking to friends. At her age, they get to have other fun things later on. They have dance classes and aerobics and other things and Tali even started taking voice lessons now! But we younger girls need to go to sleep.
In my room, I change into pajamas and throw the dirty clothes into the laundry chute. Tammy helps me put away the pile of clean clothes that Gila, the laundry lady had cleaned and placed on my bed. We choose an outfit for the next day, and prepare my schoolbag together so that it is organized and ready for the new school day. Then, Tammy waves goodbye and leaves, and Yaffa comes back for the night. I love Yaffa. If we’re all in bed on time, she reads us the best stories. Sometimes she even sings for us until we fall asleep, and then I dream about her singing.
I still sometimes wake up after having a nightmare. In the beginning it would happen a lot; I would wake up after dreaming about the screaming and the breaking glass at home and I would shake and cry. Now I don’t think about it so much anymore, but it still sometimes comes back to me at night. It’s a little scary in the dark, but the House Mother comes around and checks up on us all the time, so I know that I can call for her and she’ll help me calm down and go back to sleep.
I remember that before I came to Bayit Lepleitot, I thought that all people were bad and wanted to hurt me. I was scared. I love being in Bayit Lepleitot now. I have so many sisters and so many people who care about me and take care of me and even like to hear about my day. The House Mother says that Hashem brought me here. I am so happy that He chose Bayit Lepleitot!