School Days and Thumbs

Katey and I were on our way home in the car the other morning. We had just delivered her sister to school. I heard from the back seat, “I really want to suck my thumb.”  Now, this hasn’t been an issue for months. It took her about a year to kick the habit, but in the past 4 months she’s been thumb-free, so to speak. So I asked her why she thinks she feels that way right now. (I was curious to know what triggered it.)

She said it’s because she was “tired and sad.” It was 8:30 in the morning, so the tired part was understandable. I asked what she was sad about and she said, “I miss Alfie.” (Alfie is her nickname for Allyson. The rest of the world, however, is forbidden to use it. Seriously.)

Katey and Allyson at 2 and 3 years

Our girls are 14 months apart in age. Allyson could barely talk when her sister was born; she remembers nothing about life without her. And obviously, Katey has never known life without Allyson. That is, until Allyson began kindergarten. That was a tough day for Kate. But we made it through that school year, and it got easier day by day.

Allyson is now in first grade —  i.e., all day school — while Kate goes to kindergarten in the afternoons. So, each year she’s had to deal with spending half of every day without her built-in playmate. We typically keep busy in the mornings, my little sidekick and I. We run errands, play games, play with friends, watch a video every now and again, and sometimes even stop at McDonald’s for a chocolate-chip cookie.

But it’s not the same. I know that. I miss her, too.

K and A in more recent days.