1. A New Beginning                             Wednesday, September 4, 2013 

Allie McCallum is a 13 year old girl starting 8th grade. Her younger sister, Ava, is 8, and starting 3rd grade. The family says a prayer at breakfast, as they are Catholic. Dad is not home, as he is an emergency room doctor, and a workaholic.

On the bus ride to school, Allie makes a new friend, Emma. Emma just moved to town, and is extremely nervous about starting at a new school. She is Allie’s age, and lives with her hard-working single mother; she never knew her dad, and is not religious like Allie, but Allie thinks she seems nice, and could use a friend. 

On her first day of 3rd grade, at school, Ava, who is only 8 years old, starts her period. Mom, who is a homemaker, takes her to her doctor’s office, frantically trying to call her husband, Michael, referring to herself as Shelley (seen next to her dark blue Nissan Versa manual transmission). The doctor tells them that 8 is actually becoming more common for girls to start their period, and it is not unusual. The doctor suggests the Depo-Provera birth control shot to lighten and eventually stop Ava’s periods, and mom gets very upset. They are Catholic, and do not believe in sex or birth control before marriage. 

After not being able to get in touch with Michael, Shelley calls her fraternal twin sister, Gabby (Gabrielle (Chyler Leigh) & Michelle, seen talking along the Chesapeake Bay). Shelley discusses the perils of her day, then discusses the pluses of the Depo Provera birth control shot the doctor mentioned, but not for Ava, for herself. Shelley has had the Paragard IUD since Ava was born, but has long, painful, heavy periods. Gabby, who is also a Catholic, encourages Shelley to get off birth control, and have more children, but her opinion comes from the fact that despite being happily married since 18 to her high school sweetheart, she cannot have children. Shelley decides to make an appointment with her doctor to get her IUD out, and get the shot. 

At dinner, the family discusses the day. They talk about their Catholic values, and just as they are finishing cleaning up after dinner, Michael finally comes home (seen pulling up in his Smart Car). The girls have good values, and always help around the house. The girls go upstairs, and Michael & Shelley discuss the day. Despite not always being together, the two get along very well, always agree with each other, and are very happy together.