"Thump!"

It was them. I knew it was them. Donít ask me how I knew. I knew even before I heard their voices.

"Em, come on! Iíve gotta call Grace ní Dr. OíRourke!"

"Mike, the boy isnít coming out this second."

"Well, I donít really wanna deliver him myself, Em. I ainít Dr. Welby. Letís leave it to the pros."

There was the "slam!" of a door upstairs, and the sound of someone running to the kitchen. It was a few minutes before I heard Papaís voice again.

"Hi, Grace? Yeah, sheís ready. The kidís cominí out. The contractions are about ten minutes apart. You should hear her. That boy must be HUGE."

I didnít hear anything else. I figured he meant Mrs. Parker. Sheís the nice nurse lady who lives down the street. Mama says she helped us when I was born, and she was gonna help with my new brother, too.

My brother. My own little brother. I was going to be a big sister, just like my friend Shelly! I was gonna have someone to play Cowboys ní Indians and Cops ní Robbers with. Weíd watch Scooby Doo ní Sesame Street together. I bet his favorite characters would be Bert and Ernie, too. Iíd teach him how to lasso a rocking horse and build a Lincoln Log cabin and play on the swing set and run a race with Little Mick and ride a tricycle and even play guitar. When I could read, Iíd read him all my favorite stories, like Make Way For Ducklings and The Poky Little Puppy.

I heard Papa again. "Yeah, Pete, you can pick her up now. I know itís 1 in the morniní, but she donít need to be underfoot while Em ní the babyís restiní. Katie loves visitiní you guys. Iíll be over later in the morniní to tell you the gory details."

I guess he meant Uncle Peter. Papa sometimes calls him "Pete." Heís Papaís best friend. Uncle Peter likes nice things, like peace and harmony. He always wants everyone to be nice to each other. Heís great at making music. Heís one of the best bass players ever, and heís a great piano player, too. Heís my friend Jordanís daddy, and Jordan wants to be just like him when he grows up.

"When I grow up," I thought to myself with a yawn, "Iím going to be a mama, so Iíll have my own little girl and boy to read stories to. Iíll be a cowgirl and an astronaut like on TV and a superhero, and Iíll be in my own band with Jordan and Shelly and Mick..."

I donít remember much else. I guess I went to sleep. When I woke up, I wasnít in my bedroom. I was in the big nurseury room in Jordanís huge old house. I was under the green and yellow blanket in one of the little beds. I could see Jordanís red hair peeking out from under the blanket on another little bed. He was still sleeping.

I didnít know how I got to Jordanís house. I went over to Jordan to ask him if he knew.

"Jordan!" I shook him hard. "Jordan! Wake up!"

He turned around and looked at me. He was still kind of asleep. "Huh? Oh hi, Katie. How did you get here? Did you do the blue light thing?"

"I donít know! I heard Papa talk to your papa, and thatís the last thing I remember!" I smiled real big. "Jordan, Mama was haviní my brother! He was gonna come out! Heís gonna play with us now!"

Jordan grinned his big grin. "Really?" He sighed. "I wish I could have a brother. I never have anyone to play with in this big house! Dolly the kitty always wants to sleep, and my mommy and daddy are always busy!"

I took Jordanís hand. "Iíll bet your mommy will have another baby soon! Then weíll both play with our brothers!"

Jordanís blue eyes were really big. "Really?" He frowned. "How?"

I grinned. "The storkíll bring him! Thatís what Papa told me! The storkís gonna bring my brother!" I shrugged like Papa does. "I guess they didnít want me to bug Mr. Stork while he gave my brother to Mama."

Uncle Peter came in. Uncle Peter has long yellow hair, and is always smiling. Today, he looked a little tired, but his smile was extra-big. He picked me up and looked right at me. "Hi, Katie! Iíll bet youíre surprised to be here!"

I nodded. "Yeah! Brotherís here!"

Uncle Peter laughed. "No fooling you, Katie Nesmith! Just like your dad. Yes, your mommy had the baby at six thirty this morning. His name is Robert Michael Nesmith Jr. Heís eight pounds, six ounces. Thatís big for a baby! He has black hair and gray eyes, and guess what?"

"What, Unca Peter?"

"Mrs. Parker said we could take you two over to meet Robbie after you have breakfast!"

"Yay!" I cheered! I was too excited to eat breakfast. I wolfed my oatmeal down as fast as I could! Jordan, on the other hand, ate his so slowly. I had to keep telling him to hurry up, or weíd NEVER get to see my brother!

Uncle Peter and Auntie Valerie helped us get dressed. I wanted to get there fast, but Auntie Valerie wouldnít put my shirt and overalls on fast enough! She put on my little strap shoes, even though I told her I didnít need them. Iíd be in my own house!

"Itís cold and wet today, Katie," Auntie Valerie scolded. "Youíll catch the flu if you go out without your shoes and socks!"

We FINALLY got into Auntie Valerieís little blue car named Rosemarie and went to my house. I rushed right in. "Whereís my brother?" I called. "Wanna see!"

"Shh." Papa came into the kitchen, a finger on his lips. "You canít be loud around Robbie. Youíll wake him up."

Uncle Peter put Jordan on the floor, so he could see my brother, too. "Hi, Mike. Howíd it go?"

"Noisy." Papa shook one of his hands. "Emís a LOT stronger than she looks. Must be all that typiní she does."

Auntie Valerie took us into my room downstairs. Someone put a big bed in my room last night, and Mama was laying in it, under a lot of blankets. She was really red, but happy. She had a big smile on her face. She rocked and sang to a little blue blanket in her lap.

Mrs. Parker was there, picking up reddish blankets. A big man with silvery-black hair in a white coat was there, too. He was putting funny things in a big black suitcase. "Hi, kids," Mama said softly. "Meet Robbie."

Mrs. Parker and Auntie Valerie lifted us up to the bed. When Mama pulled the blanket away, I saw a little red person. I didnít know why they said he was big. He looked so very tiny to me! He had black hair, like mine, but he didnít open his eyes.

"Heís sleeping," Mama said. "He had a big day. Being born is very tiring!"

I put my hand on his hand. He had really soft hands, softer than my dog Big Jakeís fuzzy tummy. "Heís so little, Mama!"

"Babies are little, Katie. Heíll get big soon, though, and before you know it, heíll be chasing after the rest of you!"

"Yeah!" I smiled a lot at that. I like to chase Shelly and Mick and Jordan. Itís fun.

Papa came in. "How do ya feel, darliní?" Thatís what Papa always calls Mama. He calls me "Cowgirl."

"Tired, Mike." Mama smiled a little. "Tired, but really happy."

Papa put his hand on my shoulder. "Just imagine that, Katie. You have a brother to pick on now. I have a boy."

"I have a brother." I smiled again and rubbed my brotherís black hair, thinking of all the things weíd do together soon.