Ilean my head against the net wall, feeling the indentations on my face as my cheek bulges against it. “So obviously there’s a major secret that they don’t want us to know,” I say, my voice muffled.

Tzippy bounces up and down in a sitting position, moving Sari and I with her. We’d escaped to the trampoline for an emergency rendezvous to figure out what our parents were hiding from us.

Sari flops onto her back and stares up at the sky, her straight auburn hair a shining halo around her heart-shaped face.

“Well, we know it has to do with Simchi’s new teacher,” she says matter-of-factly.

“That’s true,” Tzippy nods.

I flop next to Sari. “And we know it’s something that we probably won’t like, hence all the secrecy,” I add, trying to find shapes in the clouds.

Tzippy bounces again. “Okay, so why wouldn’t we like his teacher? Hypothesis one: She’s a child-hater.”

I sit up and stare at her.

“Yes, that makes perfect sense, Tzips. Abba and Mommy have hired a woman who hates children to teach their little boy.”

Tzippy rolls her eyes. “Fine, come up with a better idea.”

Sari giggles. “Hypothesis two: She’s an ex-con who needs to do community service. Mommy’s so nice she told her to come teach Simchi and that everyone deserves a second chance.” We crack up.

“Sari, you’ve been reading too many mysteries.”

She rolls her eyes. “Fine, RaRa, your turn.”

“With pleasure. Hypothesis three: There is no new teacher and Mommy wants us to dedicate all of our free time to being Simchi’s tutors.”

I stop speaking as the impact of what I’d just said hits me. “Oh no,” I whisper. “That can’t be it, can it?”

We all stare at each other in horror. “No more shopping,” Tzippy whispers. “No more bike riding,” I moan. “No more ballet classes,” Sari sighs. We sit in silence a few minutes and then Tzippy jumps to a standing position and pulls us both up with her. “Enough moping. He’s our brother and we love him. We’ll teach him everything we know; that kid’s going to go far. Now jump!” And she starts jumping hard, cheeks flushed, hair flying. I start laughing; I can’t help it. She’s just so funny, so close to being an adult yet so fun to be with. So we jump and jump until Simchi comes out and signs that we’re going to break the whole trampoline. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 709)