The day my brother was born

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It was May 16th, 2006; my fourth grade class was embarking on a field trip to the original part of the Erie Canal. To me, it sounded like a fun excursion because we were going to hike through the woods and ride on a 100 year old steam boat. I could not wait for this trip, but I also could not wait for my new baby brother to be born. My mother was over nine months pregnant in May, and my brother was expected to arrive at any moment. As a nine year old, all this excitement was overwhelming.

It was the day of the trip; I had my lunch made, peanut-butter and jelly of course, my hiking boots on, and a little cash for a souvenir. I had ten whole dollars; I thought I was a big spender. I hopped on the bus and rushed for the back of the bus, you know where the cool kids sat. But no matter where anyone sat, the smell of sweaty, greasy kids lingered in the air. I had my best friend William Benedict sitting with me; for the entire hour and a half ride my friends and I made “Yo Momma” jokes. When we arrived, we had a schedule packed with events such as hiking, riding the boat, going to the museum, and using some old time canal tools. First up was the museum, one of the most boring things there. Our tour guide spoke with a monotone voice at a rate of two words a minute; I think he thought we were stupid or something. In the museum, I could smell the old, musty wood and I could hear the old boards creaking beneath my feet. When it was time to switch to a different activity, my face shot up with joy. Next on the agenda was working with tools; what nine year old wants to work, right? It was actually extremely fun; we got to use horses, axes, hammers and so many tools. Feeling the sweat bead down my back and the smell of fresh air was great. We worked for a good half an hour.
After a hard case of child labor, we sat down for lunch just me and my pals making jokes, playing with yo-yos and such. Then all of a sudden, a snake slithered by us; of course the girls went screaming, and we manly men chased it until it got away. A group of fourth grade boys chasing a snake is like a bull rush is Spain. After lunch we went on a mile walk through the woods pretending we were the crocodile hunter, finding animals and indentifying plants. At the end of the trail we came upon a dock where a huge steam boat awaited. We boarded the steam boat and took off, racing down the river at 15 miles per hour. I felt like a cheetah sprinting through the grassy plains of Africa. I was so caught up in the ride I didn’t notice that it ended. Our class, exhausted and saddened that the trip was over, trudged back to the bus. I assumed my position in my seat and passed out. Only to be woken up by my teacher…
“Keating….Keating wake up,” she said.
“Whaaat?” I said, listening to the background noise of snores.
“Your dad just called, you have a new baby brother,” she said.
Too tired to care I said, “Great!” I fell back asleep. When we arrived back to school, I was picked up by my grandparents, and they rushed me to the hospital. I was escorted to my mom’s hospital room where I found her and a shriveled little creature sleeping at her bedside. It smelled like latex gloves, old people, and urine.
My mom asked, “Do you want to hold him?”
“Sure.” I said. All I could think was you’re a smaller version of ET, you creepy looking creature, but you’re my little alien. That’s the day my brother was born.





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