| Quote #1
That time I saw tears in her eyes. It made me feel all empty inside and I cried a little, too. By the time she was through kissing me and talking to me, I was sure I didn't need any dogs at all. I couldn't stand to see Mama cry. (2.65)
Billy loves his family so much that he can almost convince himself that he doesn't need any dogs. Check it out, Mama: those dogs are going to make you cry again, but this time they're going to be tears of happiness.
| Quote #2
I wanted to share my happiness with my sisters but decided not to say anything about ordering the pups.
Arriving home, I dumped the sack of candy out on the bed. Six little hands helped themselves. I was repaid by the love and adoration I saw in the wide blue eyes of my three little sisters. (3.68-69)
See how much Billy loves his sisters? He's willing to share his candy with them, even after not having had any for two years. Too bad he doesn't love them enough to give them names or distinguish them in any way.
| Quote #3
I decided it was time to tell my father the whole story. I fully intended to tell him that evening. I tried several times, but somehow I couldn't. I wasn't scared of him, for he never whipped me. He was always kind and gentle, but for some reason, I don't know why, I just couldn't tell him. (4.18)
Look, sometimes a kid just needs privacy—even when his family is as warm and loving as Billy's. Wanting to have a space of your own is part of growing up. You have to learn to see yourself as an individual, and not just part of a family. (Unless you're a Kennedy, or something. Then you're really just stuck with your family.)