September 22, 2008
Life is full of consistencies and inconsistencies. Life can be monotonous, but quickly turn to endless surprises. There is an Arabic proverb that states, “Only three things in life are certain: birth, death, and change.” All of the objects in the proverb have one thing in common besides certainty: inconsistency. We go about our lives each day doing the same thing after next, when all of a sudden, we find that things do not go according plan.
Of my three younger brothers, I only remember the birth of my youngest sibling, Joey. I was eight years old, reaching for nine in earnest. With my other brothers, Jake and Jeff, I was aged 2 and 4 respectively. Obviously, I would have to think hard to recollect those memories.

I remember my agenda of the day he was born. It was typical summer day in the Ozarks, sunny and humid. I was attending a week long soccer camp at Southwest Missouri State with a friend. I spent five half-days dribbling, running, and shooting, going for gold in my aspirations. Although in a few years’ time, I would soon halt my soccer dreams and realize that I utterly failed at primary kicking and ball-handling skills and lacked proper foot-eye coordination. In other words, I was dead clumsy.

At the end of the day, I was hot, sweaty, and above all, thirsty. I was expected to have my mom take me home that day. However, I was then approached by my next-door neighbor. I was not surprised to see her there, as her daughter attended the camp as well. I was surprised when she informed me that my mom had gone into labor and that she would be taking me home. This news made my stomach drop and my heart had stopped for a brief moment. Younger kids typically enjoy two things, playing outdoors and consistency. I had already achieved the outdoors part, but the inconsistency in my day had upset me. I was not bawling or panicking, but I was completely nervous. My mind was racing with questions, comments, and pleas.

When I had reached home, I found that my babysitter was at my house with my other brothers. She told me that she would stay as long as my dad would be with my mom at the hospital. This comforted me, because I trusted my babysitter and partly because I thought she was the coolest seventeen-year-old that ever lived. At this time, my neighbor who lived two doors up the street came to my door and told me that one of the boys who lived across the street was also at the same hospital as my mother receiving emergency appendix removal surgery. This then added to the inconsistency and made me more nervous.

As I looked out to my front yard, I was taken aback by many of my neighbors who were gathered around my mailbox. I thought this was so strange. We had become friends with many of my neighbors so their faces had become familiar to me, but the sight looked as if they were reporters waiting outside a celebrity’s house on the search for the scoop. My friends had invited me to play outside with them, but I refused. I found that I wanted nothing more to do than stay in the house waiting for my dad to call.

I glued myself to the couch, not daring to move, afraid that I may not hear the phone ring and miss the call. I watched my brothers play with their toys. I looked at them in disgust as they did not realize the seriousness of the situation. Then again, I did that a lot as I was a quite pretentious child back then.

At this point the only thing that worried me was the $64,000 question: boy or girl? My parents had decided for each kid to keep the sex of us a surprise until we were born. I am still not sure why, but I guess it kept the anticipation strong. I had hoped for a sister. I asked God for a little sister in my prayers before bedtime. After two brothers, all I wanted was sibling who I could have something in common with. I imagined playing games with her and being the best role model for her.

The phone then rang. My heart started to beat faster and the race to the phone started. The babysitter picked up the phone and talked to my dad with phrases of congratulations with a wide smile upon her face. She gave the phone to me and hearing my dad’s voice made my world brighter. He told me that I had a new baby brother and that my mom and he had not decided on a name yet. I was not given the little sister I had hoped and prayed for. However, I became elated of the news and I felt I had to tell it to the world.

I ran to my front door. I wanted to tell everybody. I wanted to tell my neighbors. I wanted to tell the birds in the trees. I wanted to tell the world. And so, I jumped onto the porch railing without preparation of what to say. “
IT’S A BOY!” I screamed. At this point, I ran into the yard and as silly as it sounds, I did a few cartwheels. My friends hugged me, the adults were overjoyed, and I had wobbly knees. In my long, almost nine years of life, this was the best inconsistency I had ever experienced, let alone remember.

I had completely forgotten of the neighbor boy with appendicitis until my friend’s walked over to me and informed me that his surgery was a success. However, I did not feel guilty for forgetting about him. I probably should have felt guilty at the time, but how could I? I just got news that I had a brand new baby brother.

Later that night, my dad returned home. I was so relieved to see him. My mother and brother had stayed at the hospital. My mom was recovering and my brother was premature and needed to be monitored until he gained enough weight. However, this did not concern my family. My other brothers and I were all premature and had no serious health problems following. My father then told my brothers and me that we had a new addition to the family named Joseph William, Joey for short. That was happy day for my whole family and me.

Inconsistencies are parts of the crazy things in life that shape the history of a person. The unusual things in life require us to adapt to new settings and experience new events. This high-intensity roller coaster of emotions proved to me that even at a young age, life requires me to adapt and experience. Reflecting on this, reminds me of the cliché method of teaching children how to swim: simply push them in the water. I think this method can be used for a lot of things in life. In order to make it in this world, all we need is a little push.

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Nathaniel R. said...
Dec. 5, 2008 at 7:06 pm
Are you Erin Mc.? Good article by the way
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