Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Sadie Comes For Succos

Gila Arnold

“Hello, everybody! Whew, am I glad I made it on time!” Leah gaped. Standing in the doorway was a short, plump woman, wearing a matronly pink evening dress, a short salt-and-pepper wig, and carrying two stuffed suitcases and a bird cage.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

illustration Dear Miriam,

I need your help with a problem I have. I’m twelve years old, and I have one older brother and two younger brothers. My family is basically all right, I guess. But my problem is–

Yael tapped her pen against her bedpost. How could she explain the issue so that the famous advice columnist would understand?

My problem is that my family doesn’t see me as a regular person. My older brother treats me like a baby, my younger brothers treat me like a babysitter, and my parents treat me like the only girl. But no one understands me for who I am.

Yael read what she’d written. Self-doubt gnawed, compounding her ever-present existential anxieties. Would Miriam grasp the nature of her problem from this letter? She couldn’t bear to be misunderstood by the woman who dispensed such wise, insightful advice week after week, who understood everybody. She was sure that if only she could get an answer from Miriam — or, better yet, speak to her in person! — all her problems would be solved.

With a sudden flash of inspiration, she started writing again.

It’s hard to explain what I’m talking about without seeing my family. Maybe you’d like to come one day to visit. My parents love having guests, especially on Succos.


Yael Mayerfeld.

Yael hesitated, then crossed out her name and signed it “Misunderstood Middle Child.” Then, she carefully addressed and stamped an envelope.


Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"