Thursday, January 29, 2015

POSTED: Thursday, August 25, 2011, 4:20 PM

With Irene coming and the Not-So-Great East Coast Earthquake of 2011 behind us, I naturally worry about nature’s effects on the Little Girl.

I was told that when the earthquake struck, my daughter slept through it. “What earthquake?” she asked.

Irene is another story. Heavy storms unnerve my girl, and she worries when the power goes out, fearful that her connection to important parts of the world is severed. I’ve made a game of lighting candles and looking for flashlights, but the Little Girl doesn’t like it when she knows she’s off the grid.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 10:18 AM

Now comes Gap Week, the aptly named five days between the end of summer programs for kids and the start of the school year.

In our house, I’ve taken to calling it Abyss Week. I may have a flair for the melodramatic, but still, this is a major pain-in-the-butt time of year.

After making plans and spending much cash to be sure their little darlings are safe and occupied during the summer, working parents must now figure out a Plan B that gets the kids through till academics commence.

POSTED: Monday, August 22, 2011, 11:50 AM

I’ve always considered myself to be a modern person.

But when it comes to my 7-year-old daughter, there’s something very 1957 about the way I think, especially in matters of clothing and appearance: Skirts not too short, no two-piece bikinis, no pierced ears. She asks me about make-up, and I just laugh.

So it’s not hard to imagine my reaction to Jours Apres Lunes, a brand of French lingerie for girls aged 4 to 12.

POSTED: Thursday, August 18, 2011, 3:50 PM

I love hearing the Little Girl talk about her life.

In sweet tangles of conversation that are sometimes difficult to follow, I listen to her observations, misperceptions, desires, complaints.

So much of the way she thinks is changing as she grows, and I am breathless to keep up.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 17, 2011, 4:24 PM

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately caring for my dad, who was hurt in a car accident. At the same time, my daughter has begun crying at night, having trouble getting to sleep.

As a sandwich-generation guy caring for two loved ones, I’m useless lunch meat who watches his people suffer.

I go from aching dad to weeping child, wishing I could take away the pain and anxiety, feeling unable to truly help either one.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 7:52 AM

My dad was hospitalized after a car accident the other day. He's fairly banged up with a bunch of broken bones, but he'll live.

The dilemma I faced was telling the Little Girl. She has heard that people she knew died, but she was never part of the drama.

Still, I couldn't hide the emotion and the basic logistics of dealing with my dad. So I told her. My daughter cried in fear and sadness, and I held her a good, long time.

POSTED: Friday, August 5, 2011, 3:26 PM

I saw courage the other day, raw and simple.

My daughter was at a community pool for the first time. It had a high, twisting slide that dropped into 10 feet of water.

Clearly, she was drawn to it. She climbed the ladder three times, sat at the top, but could not let herself go.

POSTED: Thursday, August 4, 2011, 8:18 AM

In a recent survey, Visa found that the tooth fairy leaves an average of $2.60 per child's tooth -- 40 cents less per tooth than last year.

The hard-time economy affects even iconic childhood moments, it seems. I know in our house, Santa brought 20 percent fewer gifts last Christmas. And 2011 ain't looking much better.

I try to shield the Little Girl from talk of diminishing means, but it invariably comes up. Divorced people especially are used to operating with less money, and the kids simply have to adjust to that. It's unfair, but that's the crazy way it is.

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

Alfred Lubrano Inquirer Columnist
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