O n a hot, humid morning, typical Miami weather, I waited for the school bus with my older sister, Perri. “I wonder where the junior high school trip will be this year,” I remarked, excited to be part of this league.

“I don’t know, but I can guarantee you that Bais Malka won’t let us down!”

I didn’t have to wait long to find out since at the end of the day, Mrs. Stein, my ninth-grade teacher, announced, “Girls, please remember to fill out the permission slip and bring the money for the Disneyworld trip next Tuesday.”

By next Monday night, our bags were packed, drinks in the freezer, and we were tucked in by eight. “Dassi, are you sleeping yet?” I heard Perri whisper.

“Yes, I am… uh, what did you think I would answer if I was? You’re having a hard time falling asleep, too, I see.”

“I can’t stop thinking about the trip,” she said. “We have to be up mega-early. How are we going to hear the alarm clock?”

“Don’t know…”

We must have eventually fallen sleep as we woke up to terrific banging on our bedroom door.

“Girls, get ready quick! The bus is waiting!” Luckily my mother was up on time! We raced to get dressed, grabbed our bags, and ran out the door.

Showing up on the late side, I avoided everybody’s gazes as I walked down the aisle of the bus looking for a still-empty seat. There weren’t many, and I slid into the first empty seat I saw. After arranging my bags, I realized I’d landed next to Libby. This was going to be a mega-three-hour bus ride!

“Dassi, what happened?” Libby asked. “Slept through the alarm clock?”

“Guess so, huh?”

“Never mind. Wow, you brought along a ton of stuff!”

“Yeah.” I looked through my bags and cried out, “Oh, no, I forgot to pack the cold drinks and the double-fudge brownies from my mother!”

“Don’t worry, you can share with me. I brought along plenty.”

The driver pulled onto the highway. Ah, now I can catch up on my sleep. “So Faigy, my married sister,” began Libby, “offered me a babysitting job I couldn’t refuse.”

“Oh, really,” I said, forcing my eyelids to stay open.

“Between you and me, I love her kids. Eight-month-old Menachem is a doll, and two-year-old Pessie is incredibly cute.”

“Uh-huh,” I answered while stifling a yawn.

“The problem is that my mom already made me a doctor’s appointment for that day.…”

Will she notice if I drift off?

“Dassi, Dassi, you there?” Libby asked impatiently.

“Yeah, uh, what did you say?”

A half an hour before we got to the theme park, I was totally fighting sleep.

“Dassi, let’s stick together like glue, okay?”

“Yeah, sure, whatever.” I hoped I’d find a way to put a stopper on her overworked mouth. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 670)