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my brother

4.24.1969: A Day Like Any Other Day

It was like any other day.

Except

Daddy woke us up, not Mama
and Daddy let me go with my big sister to Kindergarten.
But other than that, it was like any other day.

Except

Daddy said we would have a big surprise later
And I thought maybe we would go get ice cream,
Or go to the Five & Dime to buy paper dolls,
Or maybe company was coming.

At Kindergarten
I colored pictures and I played in the kitchen center.
I listened to music and watched the record going round and round on the player.
I heard the office phone ring.
It rang the same way it did on any other day.

Except

“Aileen, Dawn! Your Daddy is on the phone, come quick.”
And we did.

I reached for the phone, black and heavy, its top half snaking across the desk.
Tippy toed, I pressed the receiver to my ear.
“Daddy?”
“Hey, Girlbaby!” (Daddy always called me Girlbaby.) “Guess what?”

I couldn’t.

“You have a baby brother!”

Transformation.
Metamorphosis.
WOW
I was a big sister now.
Amazing.
But really, it was a day just like any other day.

Except

It was the day my brother was born.