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The other night, just as we were...

The other night, just as we were about to drift off to sleep, some old childhood fears came to visit us.

Fear of the dark and fear of being punished still tried to bully us, but we laughed and reminded them that they were guests--unwanted guests--in our home. Be quiet, we said, and they immediately fell silent.

Fear of the first day of school, well, we told him to go stand in the corner.

There was fear of getting nothing to eat but spinach, but we like spinach these days. He just whimpered and fell on the floor.

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We have to admit that fear of not being loved and fear of abandonment still had a slight hold on us. We had to summon some extra courage to face them down.

They all looked a little wan, a little yellow around the gills, so we asked what was wrong.

“We’re afraid,” they said, “of Peter Alsop.”

We understood immediately. Alsop, a singer-songwriter, uses humor and music to address subjects that most people find difficult to discuss--like incest, emotional and physical abuse, sexism and parenting. His children’s albums have won critical acclaim.

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Alsop, they said, would be performing at the annual Children’s and Family Concert at the Santa Monica Alternative School House at 4 p.m. Sunday. (See Children’s Activities).

“He makes our job a lot harder,” they said.

Well, there was little we could do. In fact, we weren’t even sure we wanted to help them. And with a wail and a moan, they vanished.

The room grew still. We stared into the dark. In the corner we could make out fear of death. He was powerful as ever.

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“Boy, we could sure use Peter Alsop now,” we said, wide awake.


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