All her life she’d made mistakes and here was one more, worse than the others. Magda and Jane were downstairs playing an aggressive doll game they’d invented; Claudia and Magda’s father were in the guest bedroom. Back home, Claudia gave the girl some water in a Dixie cup and laid her in Jane’s sleeping bag. Claudia had dumped the girl’s old clothes into the trash can before they left. * That night, new Jane slept on the new couch amid towers of unpacked boxes. He thought saying the fact was what made it special rather than the fact itself and how they carried it out. Yes, everything would be the same here, except for what was different. The head counselor, one of those frazzle-haired artsy types Claudia had once consorted with, was very kind, if disorganized, and soon she’d coaxed Jane into beading. Neither had Claudia, which had made it difficult to object to the move: no job, no friends. But she did not like thinking of that day, and she tried not to. In the mornings Claudia painted rolling landscapes that were technically perfect but fell short of art. Both had happened, she supposed – it was just a question of which end he’d been on this time. Later, in bed, her husband explained his steel derivatives deal, but it was like a mad lib of meaningless phrases: risk exposure, contractual defaulting, market volatility. Whenever Claudia wasn’t looking, whenever Jane was out of sight, there was a chance that Jane would vanish and a new Jane would appear, a little more removed from the original. They brought a thin blanket, an Eiffel Tower puzzle, a bottle of white wine, two cartons of overripe berries, and one Jane, who became another behind a thick oak, another immersed in the cool gushing water of the fountain, another, another. It was too painful for Claudia to calculate, so many of her daughters leaving her. He’d steered Claudia away from the master bedroom, the way he might any old house guest on a tour of the upstairs: No, no, total disaster zone in there. Something in Claudia snapped, and she jumped across the room and slapped Magda – another urge that had been building for years, though this consummation was far more satisfying. But then Claudia’s satisfaction scared her; poor Magda was only a kid, a child who’d never learned childhood. Claudia was exhausted, but she sat by the front window in case Jane came home or the police came to arrest her. Claudia thought about guilt but she couldn’t quite feel it, couldn’t get in its groove; it was like God when she was a kid. Claudia’s husband had promised he’d strip all the decals from her room tomorrow. * Before they moved they’d signed Jane up for a day camp so she could make new friends in their new town, and so she would not drive Mommy insane. Once, she’d considered Magda’s father her friend – they’d shared banal spousal frustrations over coffee – but now he was someone she tried not to remember. She’d pursued a life of art beyond what her talent called for, and she knew it. He and Jane took turns stealing potato off each other’s plates, pretending to spy something ominous or exciting behind the other, pointing dramatically: (This Jane seemed to remember Magda.) Claudia reclined in her chair, feeling warm. This was what happened when he got drunk: he got jazzed about steel. Claudia thought about this on the way to camp, while the new Jane fiddled with the radio. But each Jane was so like the one before, an echo distorted by the shape of walls. Sometimes they’d stay for a few days, sometimes a few minutes. She had ceased to be astonished that no one else noticed. She felt she was sharing a secret with all her daughters – though she was not sure they were fully in on it. A compilation video of awesome freebies (click on the image below) 2. Free Spanish Valentine’s Day Sentence Building Activity – plus AUDIO 4. So tell us Kal whatever happened to your top secret organization that had millions of dollars? You're likely taking it all out in food stamps you slobbering dolt. One would think that if your IQ was so high you would have figured out how quickly everyone would see through your childish ruse. Did you realize Kal that your ramblings were so out of control and that you had been finally caught in so many lies that you chose to run away like you always have? Nestled on the doll was a health drink that was a green so healthy it almost looked unhealthy. Probably at this very second Magda’s mother was buying cod oil or soy crackers to shove down her daughter’s throat. She examined the room, or what was left of it: toothpaste over nail-holes in the wall, the outfit Jane had set aside for the trip – as ridiculous as all of Jane’s self-selected outfits. Claudia rubbed her own eyes, like the girl who was almost her daughter might become her actual daughter, if only she could get this sleep crud away. You can decorate your new bedroom however you like. The girl scrunched her face, thinking, like this was a thing she might remember. When a thing transforms, a piece remains elsewhere, in a place we cannot find. The house had a porch in front and a pool in back, neither of which their old house had, so that was something. Not that he was a bad man, only dour, too focused on the wrong things: steel derivatives, football, world affairs. It was sunnier here, though it had only been a few minutes. One Jane knew where the can opener was, the next where to find Disney in HD. At home, they made supper; Jane wielded the knife expertly. Did Jane want to stay up late and watch PG-13 movies? Claudia would make popcorn all night if Jane wanted. Claudia sat by the bed, stroking Jane’s hair, keeping watch. This Jane was almost as wondrous as her very first Jane. Claudia wondered if she’d be able to pick her original Jane out of a line-up. But as the one she’d birthed, taught to walk and talk, taken to the space museum when she was three?
Magda was alone in the living room, flipping through the, brow furrowed as if grappling with some new political instability in Eastern Europe. A doll sat next to Magda on the couch, head ninety degrees askew, arm missing. It wasn’t the girl’s fault; her mother had taught her that. Claudia peeked into the guest bedroom; Magda’s father was passed out, clutching the sheet like it was a great comfort. She moved her limbs stiffly, like they were thawing. It will be sunnier there – though Claudia had no reason to believe this was a concern of the child, nor that it would be true. One of Claudia’s college boyfriends, a sculptor, had always been talking about transformation; at the time, it had seemed pretentious babble. The new house was a sprawling ranch house in a neighborhood that felt more polished, better manicured than their old neighborhood. Claudia had thought he might be a new man here, slightly different in the right ways, and she thought he was aware of this possibility too, though they hadn’t discussed it. Claudia was not expecting sun from winter anywhere in this state. It seemed to be weirding out the girl and she hadn’t even experienced his usual nature. They were like those computer upgrades that came with certain data pre-installed, fixing one bug but inevitably creating another (though Claudia not to think of them as upgrades; each Jane had her pros and cons, and Claudia tried to love each for who she was). All day, Claudia did not let Jane drink water, so she wouldn’t have to use the bathroom. It was like , she thought: fall asleep and it would all be over. How tender Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider were now! Jane slept so peacefully Claudia couldn’t bear to wake her. It was an exercise in futility trying to remember the specificity of old Jane when another Jane, nearly identical, slept here now. They choose babies because parents like the idea of raising a child from the beginning of their life and they tend to choose young girls because they’re perceived as being easier to raise.The reality of these choices however are that many children – particularly boys, disabled children, children from ethnic minorities and groups of siblings – who never find a permanent home and end up being raised in a long-term foster homes. Book – El primer San Valentin de Clifford (Spanish Edition) 15. Valentine’s Day Crossword in Spanish – Crucigrama – Día de San Valentín 14. Spanish Valentine’s Day Bingo – 36 Game Cards and Vocabulary A great selection of Valentine’s Day teaching ideas there, don’t you think!But with more thought, you realize the purpose of speed dating is getting to know a large number of people in a short amount of time.