Eden M. Kennedy

mission accomplished, pal

Eden M. Kennedy is the co-author (with Alice Bradley) of the book Let's Panic About Babies! (St. Martin's Press, 2011).

A former college-radio DJ, Mrs. Kennedy has driven cross-country six times in a 1973 Volkswagen Bug and enjoys standing on her head.

Currently she works at a nonprofit and is just about finished writing her first novel.

A few weeks ago Jackson ended up with a Hot Wheels monster truck playset, and along with the monster truck Hot Wheels came a DVD of MONSTER TRUCKS. It's basically thirty minutes of trucks smashing into things and rolling over things and flipping upside down and sending mud flying in all directions. It's kind of mesmerizing, I guess, if you let it be, which I chose to because I decided to sit there with him and watch it, because it just seemed wrong to pop in a half-hour DVD of car wrecks for my child and then just wander off.

So I began to narrate, as I do, because I am The Explainer, and one of the trucks was called The Cremator, and Jackson said, What does it say on that one? And I told him, and because I'm raising a worldly child I asked, Do you know what creamtion is? And he said, No, so I said, Some people? When they die? They ask to have their bodies burned up in a fire. Does it hurt? Jackson asked. No, I said, because they're dead and when you're dead your body can't feel anything. He seemed to accept that, and later, when he was watching Conan the Barbarian with Jack, and Conan's girlfriend died and was burned up on a funeral pyre, Jackson just watched it all with an expression of profound boredom understanding.

But you know: kids! They use their knowledge against you when you least expect it:

Jackson: Grandpa’s old.
Me: Yes, he is.
Jackson: When are we going to cremate him?

Now, thank god my father wasn't listening when Jackson said this, I'm not sure he would have laughed the way I did. Kidding! I didn't laugh! I would never laugh at something like that, ever. No way. Nor would my brother, or his wife, or their children, or my husband. None of us would find that amusing, and neither should you.