Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The incredible, amazing ping-ponging girl of New Jersey

She is the amazing New Jersey ping-pong girl, moving between households with grace and synchronized regularity.

The incredible, amazing ping-ponging girl of New Jersey

She is the amazing New Jersey ping-pong girl, moving between households with grace and synchronized regularity.

Nothing in my own background compares with the myriad adjustments and changes that my daughter must deal with each week of her life. I don't know how she does it.

“Will I be with mom or you on Sunday?” she’ll ask, a little person trying to figure out her existence as dictated by the custodial clock.

She doesn’t complain -- not usually. There was a day, though, at Wal-Mart, when a clerk we didn’t know simply asked the Little Girl how she was doing.

“Well,” she said out of nowhere, “I’m getting tired of going back and forth to my parents’ houses,” she said.

To her credit, the clerk nodded and said, “I know what that’s like.” My daughter nodded, saying nothing.

I studied my shoes, feeling ache and shame. I told her I was sorry for the back-and-forth, sorry for the odd rhythms of her life.

Again, she nodded. Again, she said nothing.

But I heard her.

 

 

Inquirer Columnist
About this blog
A New York City native, Lubrano has written for newspapers since 1980. He's the author of a book, "Limbo: Blue-collar roots, white-collar dreams," and was a commentator for National Public Radio for 16 years. His work has appeared in various national magazines and anthologies. He lives with his daughter in South Jersey, and has worked for the Inquirer since 1995. Reach Alfred at alubrano@phillynews.com.

Alfred Lubrano Inquirer Columnist
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter