Susie is in 6th grade this year, which in Evesham is the first year of middle school. She goes to Marlton Middle School (MMS). The middle school day is significantly different than the elementary school day. Not only is there the changing of classes and the different halls, but the start time is much earlier.
The night before the first day of school Sus started crying. It’s not that she was scared of the new building, or new kids or new schedule. (Well maybe it was those things a little.) But what she expressed to us was that she was sad because she wasn’t going to be in the same building with Julia anymore. They had been together at MES since she was in 1st grade and Jules in Kindergarten. Not only that, but because of the day starting much earlier they wouldn’t even see each other in the morning. Susie’s bus comes at 6:45. Julia doesn’t even need to wake up until 7:00.
The first day, Julia set her alarm for 6:40. She wanted to make sure she was awake to see Sus off. Such a sweet little sister. The next days she was able to calibrate the time so that she could wake up to the minute needed to wish Sus a good day. Then they worked it out where Sus would just wake her. This went on for a couple weeks.
The girls picked up a new activity in the fall. They were acting in Voorhees community theater production of The Music Man. As the show got closer, rehearsals went later into the evening. Julia started dragging during the day. We had to put the kibosh on her early morning wake up to squeeze an extra 15 minutes of sleep for her. The show is over, but she still sleeps until 7:00. I think Susie was in a good morning rhythm without needing to see her sister anymore anyway.
As part of that rhythm Sus and I have one crossover in the morning. I come up from the basement gym at about 6:10/6:15 and she is at the breakfast bar eating. Sometimes if I’m a little late and/or she’s done a little early, she’ll race over so that she can walk back upstairs with me. It’s nice but I actually like when she’s not ready to go up better. I’ll start walking upstairs and she’ll turnaround from her from stool at the breakfast bar. Then we’ll exchange a series of waves and blown kisses until I’m out of sight. At the point where I mostly can’t be seen I’ll reach my hand down to give her one last wave.
This weekend Pam and I were catching up on an episode of Bill Maher after we tucked the girls in. Five minutes later Sus came down for something. On her way back up the steps she waved to me and I waved back.