Happy Birthday Leah!
Today, Leah - my best friend from elementary school and faithful blog reader - turned one year older. Recently, in an effort to recall significant details from my childhood for my Landmark Wisdom Course autobiography project, I rediscovered the pink diary into which I had written all of my deepest, darkest secrets from ages 7 to 14. Except that I had few, if any, deep dark secrets during most of that timeframe. So really, it was a place for my enthusiastic, mildly neurotic, seriously overambitious, fun-loving yet increasingly type-A self to recount important events, academic triumphs, heartbreaking disappointments, fears and worries, and - most importantly - everyday mundanity. The first entries (all copied without editing), with some notes from the 28-year-old me in brackets:
March 19, 1987
Tonight we had the Zimriah from 8:00 to 10:00. Then we went to a diner with grandma, grandpa, Nitza, Irwin, and the kids. Finally I went to bed at 12:00 and was very happy to be asleep.
March 29, 1987
Today I went to Simone’s birthday party at America On Wheels Roller Skating Rink. I fell down 8 times by accident and 3 times on purpose [I'm not sure if this represents the fun-loving me, the mildly neurotic me, or the emerging OCD in me...3 times on purpose??]. Right now I’m going to sleep. (Actully my mommy is going to sleep but that doesn’t matter.) Goodnight!
April 30, 1987
Today we had gym at school, and we learned more script. This is what I know so far. a d e g h I j k l t b c m n o p r s u y w [in my diary, these are all written in very nice script, if I do say so myself] Also, after school at about 6:00 me and mom found a nest and we also found the eggs.
May 1, 1987
We had our Snow Queen rehersle and I think everyone like my costume! Jacob came back today, and started going after my hair again. [he likely did this while shouting out one of the charming names he had coined for me: hair-head, butterball, or...the most creative - pint-sized possum] I had a skirt on and the boys almost looked under it. Abcdeghijklmnoprstuvwy. [cursive writing again] Rachel
December 5, 1987
Today is Natalie Ravitz’s birthday party. It’s a sleep-over. I hope I don’t sleep late.
December 25, 1987
Christmas is here once again! [says the Jewish kid going to Jewish day school...] Aunt Toby, Uncle Steve, Gregg, and Melissa came to Grandma and Grandpa’s house and I was there to greet them! We ate a delicous dinner and afterwards we got alot of presents. Monopoly, Wheel-of-Fortune, socks, a sweatshirt, paint for my shirt, and best of all, a trip to Florida! Goodnight!
December 26, 1987
I can’t wait to go to Florida. I have to pack, say goodbye, and go. Today I woke up, and went into Melissa’s bed (Melissa slept over last night) and rested. Then I got up and hung out with Melissa. I had a great day.
December 27, 1987
I woke up at 5:15 a.m. Gregg and Aunt Toby picked Melissa and I up from home at 6:00 a.m., and we started driving to Florida. We drove through: N.J., Delaware, Maryland, Wash. D.C., Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina (South of the Border), Georgia, and finally Florida! We stopped for dinner in Georgia at 6:00 p.m,, stopped at South of the Border to get postcards and stickers, and stopped for gas 5 times. I ate and drank, played games and sightseed, and watched the sunrise. I had a great day. [aren't you glad you know how many times we stopped for gas? this is memorable stuff!]
And now, a few entries that mention the birthday girl herself:
Feb 13, 1989
I got into the school Spelling Bee! I’m so excited! Leah H. and Jacob L. will be in it. Amiable. Cadent.
August 28, 1991
I had a great time at camp. It was so fun. No trouble falling asleep. It came instantly. Made lots of new friends. Bunked with Leah H. Food was revolting. I had diarrhea 3 days and stomachaches the rest. [ever the emerging clinician, I documented all significant symptoms even then]
May 18, 1993
Today was so fun! We got up, talked to the boys (Melissa is in love w/ Jacob) and were going to Busch Gardens, but it rained. We toured Jamestown and Yorktown, and Melissa, Leah and I met a fisherman, but that wasn’t the good part. We went to the NASA Museum of Air + Space, and I had diarrhea, but at night was great. After dinner, the other class from Pittsburgh went to the mall, so we had the pool all to ourselves
May 20, 1993
We left Virginia today. [8th grade class trip] In the morning, after packing our bags, we left the hotel, a mess. The manager came after us, so we hightailed it for Busch Gardens. There, the 4 of us girls (Alisha, Leah, Melissa, me) went around together. The best ride, that I went on 4 times, was the Drachenfire, but the Loch Ness Monster and the Big Bad Wolf were okay. I bought mom a glass turtle, the only souvineer of my trip. On the way back everyone slept, and we got back after a huge, gross, burping symphony (by the boys, of course) at 10:16pm. Matt’s mother drove me home, and all in all, it was a pretty great trip.
September 9, 1993
Oh yeah! I had a great day at school yesterday. [first week of high school, freshman year - Leah and I graduated from 8th grade at SSA after 9 years of school together, and nearly everyone in our class had gone to different high schools] I got asked to sit at Jon Glick’s table (the smart, clean, mostly Jewish table). I decided that Algebra II is pretty easy, and S.S. is boring, and lots more busy work. We had a really funny substitute for Biology (Mr. Sattan wasn’t there), and Leah Ord is in Geometry and Bio and she’s fun. I know more people now. I talked to Jacob and Alisha last night, and they are having okay times. Neither have many friends yet. Last night I saw Leah and Danny at a U.S.Y. meeting. Leah is such a good friend!