A reply to: A letter from Ayden
Hi, Ayden. Thanks for answering all my questions! Now I know lots about you!
What do you want to know about me?
What’s it like to have so many brothers and one sister?
I only have one brother, and I am the sister. I think I would like to have four brothers, especially if they were little. Then, it would be like having a club at home every day.
Now for the club report. I guess I should say, “Now for the Now! report!”
Now! Reporting for duty! Listen Now! It’s Now! Or Never! Would you like to be in a club called Never? When do we meet? Never. Where are you going? Never. That would be Nowhere. We could have a club called Nowhere Never Noway. Going to club? Noway! Where does it meet? Nowhere! When does it meet? Never.
Actually, it meets Now!
Anyway. So, I thought I would tell you about some of the other kids in the club besides you and me.
First, there is Fatima. I think you will like Fatima. The kids at school used to tease her because she has holes in her shoes. They called her “Rag-Foot.” And she wears a hijab which makes her look really cute. But the stupid-brains called her “Rag-Head.” So now they called her “Rag-Foot Rag-Brain.”
I told them to stop and I sort of punched them. Well, not sort of. I punched them. One of them, I punched in the stomach really hard and it was all squishy! I hope that doesn’t make you mad at me. It was really fun! Then I realized maybe it’s stupid to think it’s fun to punch kids, even if they’re mean kids. So I said I was sorry. Because I was. I wrote each of the mean kids a letter. In the letter, I said that I had fun punching them. And maybe they had fun calling Fatima names. But just because punching them was fun, that didn’t make it right.
And just because calling someone who has holes in her shoes and wears a hajib names might be fun, that doesn’t make it right. Because if what’s fun makes someone else sad, it’s not really fun tomorrow. It’s only fun today. Because tomorrow, you have to look at a sad kid, who might feel really bad, and that’s not fun.
But Fatima isn’t a sad kid anymore.
After dinner, she and Billie Jang and Billie Jang’s mom and me meet up in the square. If you lived here, you could meet up in the square with us.
We have story contests. Fatima told a story about a girl who turned into a pumpkin.
Billie Jang’s mom told a story about an artist who painted sunflowers.
Billie Jang’s mom also wears a hijab, but she calls it a scarf because she wears it for “artistic reasons” not “religious reasons.”
I think I wear my T-shirt with the plum blossoms on it for artistic reasons, but I wear the rubberbands for practical reasons.
Billie Jang says she wears orange overall-shorts for fun.
What do you like to wear, and do you wear anything for art or for practical or for religion?
I wish you lived in our city so you could play with us after supper. I would like to hear your stories that you tell!
Later, Ayden! Do you have a nickname?