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Talking about my generation

Jack Yusko | Thursday, April 28, 2011

It was 6 a.m. after two weeks in the wilderness on an Outward Bound trip and three days before my 19th birthday when my parents told me I was going to have a little brother.

So much for the empty nest, I guess.

At first I didn’t believe them. Then I thought we were adopting. Finally, despite being diagnosed with secondary infertility right after I was born, my parents were going to have another kid.

I tried to wrap my head around the fact that it was no longer going to be just my sister and I. 21, 19 and 0. Graduating from college, beginning college, being born.

No longer would I be the pampered youngest child, but forced to assume the role of neglected, angsty middle child.

After spending the fall semester planning how to most effectively grab attention through rebellion, I came home for winter break to find my mother very obviously expecting. This was a completely unsettling experience for me, as until this point I could pretend this was all imaginary or an elaborate practical joke. As break progressed, her due date kept moving earlier and earlier.

I was presented with the idea that the munchkin might actually be born while I was home, and I would have to look the little newcomer in the eye and accept that he was real.

January 7 came around and I got a text from my dad saying that he was taking my mom to the hospital, that it was time.

I rushed home and stayed up all night with my sister, getting updates on the progress via texts and rushed phone calls. Finally, a little after the sun came up, William George was born.

My sister and I drove to the hospital after a few hours of sleep to meet the newest member of the family. I walked into the room to see my mom holding this tiny, sleeping bundle and heard her say, “He looks just like you,” before shedding tears of joy.

I spent the rest of the last week of break playing and coming to terms with my new brother. It still seemed surreal that I would be telling people that I have two siblings or that I would get to watch him grow up.

Over Spring and Easter break, he just kept getting bigger and more active, smiling, laughing and learning to roll over.

Having a 3-month-old back home has really put time in perspective for me: when I’m graduating from college, he’s going to be 3. When I turn 30, he’ll be in middle school. I’m starting to see how much time we have beyond our four years at Notre Dame.

I guess we never realize what we’re missing out on until it comes into our lives.

I think we don’t fully appreciate things until we encounter them ourselves.

Whatever the lesson is, I’m glad to be related to the first member of the class of 2033.