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  • “Ow! Mummy she’s hurting me!” My little sister gives me her “Jilly-monster glare.”
    “Am not!” I protest. Jillian’s mean face doesn’t scare me.
    “Almost ready, guys.” Mummy adjusts our matching red shorts, and my big sister’s red shorts scoot in behind me.
    Finally, all five of us siblings are squished onto the prettiest carousel horse, one behind the other. Even baby Ashlynn.
    It’s July 2005, our first time at Disney and Mummy is making us take ANOTHER carousel picture.
    “Everybody say ‘Stinky feet’!” Mummy steps back clicking her camera, and finally Daddy comes over to let us down.
    “Shannon, we’re in Disney!” Jilly squeals and grabs my hands, bouncing up and down.

    * * * *
    “Mama, the park’s closed, everybody’s leaving!” Jillian says.
    Mom’s at the horse’s head trying to stop Ashlynn’s crying.
    It’s June 2007 at our favorite amusement park: Canobie Lake.
    Jillian and I have the whole park memorized. All day long, we got to lead everybody: from the Yankee Cannonball (my favorite) to the Haunted Mine ride (Jillian’s favorite) to the Boston Tea Party (both our favorites).
    But this is everybody’s least favorite part.
    “Mama, what if we get locked in?” I echo Jillian’s worries.
    “Don’t worry, we won’t,” Mama says. “Stinky feet!”

    * * * *

    “Omg, Mom, why do you still make us do this? So embarrassing.”
    I was thinking the same thing, but leave it to Jillian to actually say it.
    “Way to be rude,” I tell her.
    She shoots me her signature death-glare. I roll my eyes.
    I’m pissed at Jillian because I let her wear my favorite shirt today and she spilled red slushy all over it.
    Four girls like my age walk by and laugh at the scene we’re causing: five kids too old for a carousel, holding up the ride from the babies waiting nearby in their parents’ arms.
    Thank god we’re way up at Lake George, NY and nobody we know is around to see this.
    “Watch the attitude,” Mom says. “Stinky feet!”

    * * * *

    June 2014, we pile onto our Canobie horse, still the prettiest one.
    “It’s not the same without matching outfits,” Jillian jokes.
    “My favorite carousel pic’s the one featuring your infamous slushy stain,” I say.
    “You threw me in the lake right after,” Jillian laughs. “What do ya think? Can we get it done before the park closes this year?”
    “Stinky feet!” we say in unison, beating Mom to the punch.
    A man passing by chuckles, “That can’t be comfortable.”
    Jillian squeezes my arm. “It’s worth it,” she tells him.
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