Use a sharp Number Two pencil. Read all the questions carefully. Find the best answer and write its letter in the margin next to the question. You can re-use any of the answers if you think they apply. None of this counts on your final grade, but we will use it to assess your understanding of the material. When you are done put your head on your desk and rest.
How do I keep them safe?
How do I make myself heard?
How do I make the best choice about their best choice, for them, without them?
How do I not lose my cool?
How do I live with their choices, when I see danger ahead, when danger has already arrived and they won't give it proper respect, how tragedy plays itself out, heedless of their precious heads?
Why do they want only the simple, easiest path, straight towards danger?
How do I support the wrong thing they want, just because I can't make them do a less wrong thing instead?
How do I make them see how bad boys can be, how sly their lies and charcoaled their souls, how they know that you think this because they said that and that makes sense because why wouldn't you and didn't he already and surely he sees and besides he thinks he won so now you will do this and figure that and all the while he knows he is a sharp blade and he knows you are a throat, like all throats?
How do I get them to not do end-runs around me, not get Good Mom to support some complex and hopeful thing, when Scaredy-pants Dad's direct but unsatisfying thing is safer?
How do I tell them Be Bold and also Be Safe?
How do I stay respected and included, when they see me fight fight fight to not scream, and are disgusted?
Why do they see safety as mired in prudent and slow, when all they want to do is run run run fly fly fly, and so bat away my fearful words, ignore my cautious path markers?
Why do they risk all for the sake of temporary elevation and immediate ease?
How do I make myself heard?
Who will we complain to if it turns out wrong – again?
Why can't they see that ugly again sitting there, raising its eyebrows, pursing its lips, licking its chops?
Why do they trust instinct and luck over planning and care?
Why am I the bad guy for seeing the blood on the floor, the ugly writing on the wall, the loss that never ends, and what it all truly is: un-necessary?
Why can't they go slow, avoid grief, give up the convenient good in the lying now, for almost all and always safe in the honest tomorrow?
What makes me invisible, the thing to game and maneuver around and lie to and hide from?
Why am I a creaking hinge or a crow's caw, just meaningless noise?
Why is there always a viper in the road, a real thing o my kindelech real real real, with dead eyes, mere venom dripping, stench steaming in his path, and innocent blood in his belly?
Why can't I use a true willow stick and fork all vipers and where is the cliff for me to drop them off?
What makes a stranger's toothsome promise better than a father's advice, or a husband's word, or a man's experience?
Why do they fly, always fly, anger thrown over the shoulder, with contempt for the sturdy branch and warm nest?
Why o why does the blood beat in their ears, drowning the sound of the beast in the woods – who fixes on the end of their day, their place of rest, who plods to it with scabrous claws and calloused pads, who knows as brutes do how even fierce birds must tire?
Why do they fly, when they know they must someday land?