Catching Up with the Kennedys

On May 17, 2012 by Eden M. Kennedy

Last night I finished reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened out loud to Jackson at bedtime. We’d had to skip over some parts, like the backyard gravedigging and zombies chapter (spoiler alert), because even I didn’t want that to be the last thing on my mind before going to sleep. Our favorite chapters centered on Posey the cat and Barnaby Jones the pug. Jackson was often breathless from laughter, and I take partial responsibility for him failing his language test because I’d kept him up reading past 10:00 o’clock the night before.

When we had read everything and there was nothing left to read I went and read the acknowledgments page, too, because Jenny thanked “Alice and Eden” on it and I wanted to show off a little. Oh, boy, was Jackson impressed. He looked at me in shock, then he jabbed his finger into my chest, repeatedly (or, as he says, repeatively), and said, “That’s you!” I told him how Alice and I’d had breakfast and dinner with Jenny in New Orleans last year when she was spending half her time in her hotel room writing this book, and that Alice had reached out to Jenny a lot more than I had since then, and I wasn’t sure what exactly I’d done to deserve a thanks, but that I’ll take it, even if I am the less-reaching-out part of the Alice-and-Eden unit, because when a New York Times best-selling author thanks you in her New York Times best-selling book for doing God knows what, it still feels pretty fantastic.

Then I held up a beat-up copy of David Sedaris’s Naked that I’d snagged from the donations pile at the library for a buck. “I thought we could read some of the stories in here for our next bedtime book. He’s funny.”

“I don’t know.” Dubious face.

“What’s the problem, then?”

“I don’t know,” he said again, “I just think women are funnier than men.”

And then I fell over and died. I’d say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED but getting him to believe that women are funnier than men was never the mission; the mission has been more of a general “raise a boy who appreciates women and men for their talents equally, without an overlay of sexist expectations.” So I may have done a little cultural over-correction by wiring DVDs of 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation into his brain on repeat while he sleeps. Should I put a testosterone patch on his forehead? I hope this doesn’t mean we have to watch more Adam Sandler movies.



15 Responses to “Catching Up with the Kennedys”

  • Adam Sandler seems a little extreme. Maybe see if Ben Stiller will do the trick?

  • Oh AWESOME. Eden, you must be so proud. What a good little guy.

  • JACKSON, you are the BEST. High five.

  • I agree with Annika, Adam Sandler seems a little extreme. How about giving him some “A Bit of Fry and Laurie” or “Monty Python” to watch?

  • OMG…awesome. Thank you, thank you for giving me reason to have hope in the future. So many dudes are, well, freaking terrible. +1 to the awesome dude list.

  • I think Jackson’s right. I mean, I like David Sedaris and enjoy his books, but he’s not even the funniest one in his immediate family, you know? And that’s just one data point, but it is a pretty big data point. So to paraphrase Bob Weir, yes, the women are funnier ;)

  • Jackson: YES! How about brainwashing gently coaxing him to think the funniness order goes 1) women 2) gay men 3) straight men?

  • Kudos–on everything. The thanks, the staying up late to read to your son & what a smart young man he is.

    David Sedaris IS funny but I think he makes it pretty clear–it’s his mother that MADE him funny.

  • Sweet! Reminds me of when my son, who was maybe 4 at the time, turned to me at his older sister’s softball or soccer game and asked, “Boys can play sports too, right?” (He started doing peewee soccer when he was about 3, so I am not even sure what this was about, but it was still funny.)

  • I have to say, we watched the beginning of “You Don’t Mess With The Zohan” last night and if I’m going to watch an Adam Sandler movie, that’s probably the one. Also, we started reading the new Justin Halpern book, “I Suck At Girls.” So great. Boys can be funny, too!

  • On the subject of gender biases/assumptions in children. My husband is a stay at home dad. The other day, my son asked where his friends dad was. I told him he was at work and he said, “no, his dad.” Oy.

  • I will never forget how gentle and kind you were to me when I first started blogging and since I’m not likely to have a NYT bestseller, I’m glad Jenny included a thanks for you. Just pretend it’s from me.

  • Hi Eden, I sent this message to Alice too. I have an idea for a blog post. You’ve seen the trailer for the “Alive Inside” documentary? Very old people in nursing homes who seem nearly comatose get all spunky and talkative when they listen to music that they loved in their youth. You can watch it here: Warning: You will probably cry, but they’ll be happy tears.

    Ok, so my blog post idea is for you (and maybe lots of other people) to post their lists of “What To Put On My iPad When I’m in the Nursing Home.” See, I’m slightly worried that well-meaning young’uns will just ASSUME that since I grew up in the 80s, I’m going to want to listen to Tiffany and Peter Cetera and “Careless Whisper” over and over again. (Oh man, how I hate “Careless Whisper.”) So I think it’s important to record your preferences while you still have the chance. For posterity, see?

    So, what would spunk YOU up in the nursing home?

  • Hooray!! Tina Fey does a happy jig!

    On another note, on what planet can Jackson fail a language test? Unless it was Mandarin?

  • I kinda don’t get why people think David Sedaris is that funny. I’ve gotten a good chuckle or two from his book; but that’s it. Maybe my family was too normal growing up? I just don’t get it.