Bosey was happily examining a fanciful colored pencil drawing of a beautiful creature, half girl, half zebra. The image resonated deeply with me, for that is how I always made sense out of my complicated bi-cultural identity. Stripes. And this zebra-child was so happy and free, reveling in her stripes... the image made me happy. So did hearing my little girl refer to an animal as something other than a doggy or a duck.

Tembo had a grand time, trying to figure out whether this was a "Bubba Deeda" or a "Mama Deeda." I guess when you have only brothers, you may or may not have a category that encompasses both "female" and "child," so you sort of have to decide which concept to retain. But whether this creature was a bubba or a mama, Nathan was quite convinced that in any case, it was more properly pronounced "Beza."

It was such a peaceful and happy moment, I was a bit surprised when Nathan announced "Tembo angry!"

"No, I don't think Tembo's angry. See how she's smiling? Tembo's happy. Are you angry, Meepo?"

"No... I not angry!"

"Are you happy?"

"I not happy!"

"Are you sad?"

"I not sad!"

"Are you jubilant?"

"I not jub-lant!"

Finally, though I hit it.

"Are you amused?"

His face lit up with blissful comprehension.

"I'm a-music-ed!"

It's a good feeling to know exactly how you feel.

Even if it's stripey and confusing and a little bit of everything.

Especially if it's stripey and confusing and a little bit of everything.

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