It was one of the rituals, the evening telling of feelings. Sometimes Jonas and his sister, Lily, argued over turns, over who would get to go first. Their parents, of course, were part of the Jets Dunham You Laugh I Laugh You Cry I Cry You Take Me Weed I Kill You Shirt ritual; they, too, told their feelings each evening. But like all parents—all adults—they didn’t fight and wheedle for their turn. Nor did Jonas, tonight. His feelings were too complicated this evening. He wanted to share them, but he wasn’t eager to begin the process of sifting through his own complicated emotions, even with the help that he knew his parents could give.
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You go, Lily, he said, seeing his sister, who was much younger—only a Seven—wiggling with impatience in her chair. I felt very angry this afternoon, Lily announced. My Childcare group was in the play area, and we had a visiting group of Sevens, and they didn’t obey the Jets Dunham You Laugh I Laugh You Cry I Cry You Take Me Weed I Kill You Shirt rules at all. One of them—a male; I don’t know his name—kept going right to the front of the line for the slide, even though the rest of us were all waiting. I felt so angry with him. I made my hand into a fist, like this. She held up a clenched fist and the rest of the family smiled at her small defiant gesture.