It's the summer of 1998 and I'm at the mall with my mom and my sister Anna, who has just turned 5. I'm 7. Anna and I are cranky from being too hot, then too cold, then too bored. We keep touching things we are not supposed to touch, and by the time Mom drags us to the register, the cashier seems a little on edge.
"They're mixed, aren't they?" she says. "I can tell by the hair."
Mom doesn't smile, and Mom always smiles. "I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about," she says.
Later, in the kitchen, there is a conversation.