6th Serialized Excerpt: Vol. II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

Vol. II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D.


Cover and logo art by Willowraven.
Cover reveal for Volume II: April 15, 2014

6th Serialized Excerpt, 3/21/14

I’m practicing remote calling in the basement on a cold April morning when I hear a commotion from upstairs. Liora is taking a shower. I can smell the fruity shampoo she uses as the convection system recirculates heated air throughout the house.

I grab baby Orna and go running up the stairs to see what I screwed up.

[Moran turns to Orna, whose body rises in objection to being called a “baby” to remind her: “You are a little over one year old in this story. Sorry, but that IS a baby!” Orna settles back down to listen.]

My remote call is supposed to send a basket into the bathroom to land quietly on the counter. Instead, I see that it crashes into the shower curtain and almost knocks Liora over. Luckily, it is small and empty, but, still….

When I get upstairs with Orna under one arm, Li is still shrieking, yelling at me in Hebrew and English. The air is steamy and fruity. She is covered in shampoo, holding the basket, water running over her and it, cursing at me. Baby Orna bats at the steam clouds and reaches for her imma [Hebrew, mother].

I put baby Orna down on the bathmat as I burst out laughing, partly out of relief that Li is all right and partly because, well, it’s funny!

This is not my finest moment.

Your imma hurls the basket at me, old-style.

I duck.

This makes Imma curse even more, since it misses me.

        [Orna laughs]

I hastily apologize, go to hug Liora, but retreat at her icy stare. I apologize, stop laughing (almost), and back out of the bathroom, scooping up baby Orna as I leave.

I take you with me to back to the basement.

        [Orna nods approvingly.]

I feel even more strongly after that mishap that you are safer right next to me during my TK practice sessions.

On our way downstairs, you lean out of my arms and grab two empty, brass candlesticks from the sideboard, the ones that hold our Shabbat candles on Friday nights.

I have no idea why a 15-month-old wants anything, but I know how to keep the peace. I do not remove them from your hands. I keep walking, you under my arm like a football, one candlestick in each of your little fists.

We go downstairs where I set you and the candlesticks down.

        Orna squeals: “Yes, Abba! I put the candlesticks down on the rug.”

        “Right, Orna.”

You sit in front of them. You pat the floor next to you, showing me to sit beside you. I sit.

        What do you say?

        Together: “Abba. Do.”

I ask Baby Orna,”What do you want me to do?”

        Orna joins me, shouting: “Abba. DO!”

You wave your hands at the candlesticks, showing me you want me to move them away and up.

For the first time, I wonder if you know more than I give you credit for? You seem to want me to use my newly developing TK to fling these sticks somewhere away from us. Really?

“Okay,” I say to Baby Orna,”I’ll move these. Where do you want them to go?”

Baby Orna looks at me, very keenly, and says,”Abba. Up.” This time, you raise your hands up, over your head.

        [Both MORAN and ORNA demonstrate with their arms.]

I think, Wow. She must be watching me practice TK when I don’t know she is. TK “up” is one of our first lessons.

“All right,” I tell you.

I gather myself, do the special breathing I practice that makes this work.

Once I’m revved, I fling the sticks up. They rise about two feet above the rug. They hover nicely, if I say so myself. Upright and everything.

Baby Orna laughs gleefully, pointing, clapping her hands. Then you command: “Abba! Down.”

I gather myself again, renew the breathing. When ready, I fling the sticks back down to the rug, where they land with a thump and, to my surprise and delight, do not fall over.

I have an idea. Do you know what my idea is?

        Orna stands up and hops from foot to foot, excited to hear this next part. I look at her, teasing, delaying the next part of the story, daring her to urge me on.

        She stares.

        I stare

        We stare.

        She points at me, then up.

        I give my exaggerated shrug, acknowledging her command, pointing to my lap.

        As she sits back down on my lap, I continue the story.

“Orna! Up.” I say.

I look at my baby girl and smile. You are so cute.

I wait. I’m starting to daydream a bit, since nothing is happening.

I lean forward to take the candlesticks when suddenly, all the hairs on the back of my neck and arms stand up straight.

I stare at you.

        Orna jumps around in her excitement at hearing this part of the story.

        She grins at me. We ham up the next parts, as we usually do for an audience.

What is baby Orna doing?

She is staring hard at the sticks.

One candlestick, then both candlesticks wiggle.

        Orna wiggles.

The candlesticks shake.

        Orna shakes.

The candlesticks s-l-o-w-l-y lift up…

        Orna slowly levitates her entire body to about six inches from the ground.

        I give her a mock-stern look, point down.

        She shrugs at my command, her feet dangling above my pointing finger.

        She playfully attempts to kick at it, but I move my finger out of her reach.

        Orna slowly descends until her feet are on the floor. Pointing with her chin at me, she urges me on with the story.

        I point to my lap. She climbs back on. I continue.

Abruptly, both candlesticks FLY up to the ceiling, knock into it hard, then fall back down, almost hitting Baby Orna on the head.

I’m quick: I grab them before they land.

        I turn to Orna and remind her: “You fling those things as if you are always doing that! Not much in the way of control, but, WOW! You are fast!”

        Orna applauds her baby self.

I say,”Orna! When do you learn to do that?”

And, I wonder, what’s with my body hair getting all excited?

You laugh and shout: “Kadima, HEY!”

        You love cheering yourself with a “Kadima, Hey!” just as Liora and I do whenever you do something great.

I join you,”Kadima, HEY, Orna! Way to go!”

        Orna claps and says, to me “Kadima, Hey!”

All our shouting brings Liora down, so I explain what’s going on. Li is skeptical.

I say,”Let’s show Imma!” I look at baby Orna and say,”Orna! Up!”

I feel my hairs rise.

I look at Liora, who is staring at you while rubbing her own arms. Her hairs must be getting excited, too.

        I look at Orna, who rubs her own arms now and nods.

Baby Orna gets both candlesticks to wiggle and rise more quickly this time, doing her excellent fling again.

Liora stands there, gaping at the candlesticks while she rubs her arms absentmindedly.

Then, she looks at us both, shaking her head as she towels her long, wet hair.

Once again, I catch the sticks before they hit you or the ground.

I look up, ready to kvell [Yiddish, gush with pride], but when I look at Imma, what do I see?

Imma is not smiling.

        Orna shakes her head vigorously once, knowing the rhythm of this next part.

Imma is not liking this.

        Orna shakes her head vigorously twice.

Imma is getting all broygis [Yiddish, pissed off]! [Moran waves his hands in the air hear his face to indicate craziness and anger, both, emanating from his head.]

        Orna shakes her head vigorously three times, waving her hands around like mine to imitate someone going bonkers. We do it together, laughing delightedly.

Baby Orna wants her imma to be happy. So do I.

Kadima, HEY!” Baby Orna and I both say, although mine is a little apologetic to Liora, begging her to go along.

You laugh and clap, again.

Imma‘s heart melts, of course. She can’t resist us!

        Orna nods.

But, Imma is not all together happy, is she?

        Orna shakes her head.

Liora, gesturing to the candlesticks in my hands, asks me: “Now, what? Don’t you start kvelling, yet. How do we keep her from flinging EVERYTHING?”

“We don’t,” I answer.”We teach her control.”

I say to Baby Orna: “Come on, you little k’nocker [show-off, Yiddish]. Let’s go talk to our Aunt Clara about planning your chavrutelah [one-on-one course of study, diminutive form, Hebrew].”

I hop up, grab Baby Orna and ‘path to Liora an “I will handle this” message.
Liora acknowledges my attempt with a shrug and follows after us up the stairs.

My amazing Kadima [little girl, Yiddish] and I start a vid call Aunt Clara to get Janis—Diana to visit and help us. We know we need it!

        Orna approves.”Good story, Kadima, Hey!”

        We both laugh and clap.

        “Sing it with me, Abba!”

        We sing the Kadima song, shouting “Hey!” at each point and clapping our hands. Here it is, in case you don’t know it:

Kadima, Kadima, Kadima for Orna,
Hey, Hey,
Kadimafor Orna!
Kadima, Hey!
Kadima, Hey!
Kadima for Orna,
Hey, Hey,
Kadima for Orna,

        “Sure! You always like that one, Shterndl [little star,Yiddish]. Now, gey avec [go away,Yiddish]. Abba has more work to do, here.”

        Orna, smiles, twirls around, takes a bow.

        “Gey avec!” I give the flip-hand gesture to send Orna out of the room.

        She leaves, humming the Kadima song under her breath.

After the candlesticks incident, we all decide and I make a promise not to practice flying or anything else potentially dangerous (if operated by the mind of our toddler), ever again in front of Orna. I intend to keep that promise.

However, as you might predict, when I get to the Telepathy sections, keeping that promise is almost impossible. I can’t “hide” from another ‘path in the same family so easily. Whatever I learn, she seems to learn some or all of before I learn to shield completely.

CeeCee [short for CC, Chief Communicator; what many call Clara who know her well] and I realize shielding needs to be moved to an earlier spot in my Lessons.

And so it is.

More stories later.

Stay tuned on Sally’s blogs on WordPress (which has all links) and Tumblr, and on The Spanners Series‘ pages on Facebook and Google+, for each of the upcoming Excerpts from Volume II from March 16 – April 18, about one/day.

4/18/14, Volume II becomes available for Pre-orders via Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks and nook for half-price: @$1.99, through June 8, 2014.

On 6/9/14, Vol. II goes LIVE everywhere ebooks are sold for $3.99.