Christopher Kennedy

Last week, my six year old granddaughter, Louisa, visited for a few days. Once she arrived, a transformation took place. I became Ganka and my wife became MiMi (my my), my granddaughter's names for us, which have stuck and will remain our names whenever we're around her. On a trip to the mall, we visited one of those places where you can make your own stuffed animal. When we walked in, my granddaughter began to ask for things. First she asked for clothes for the animals she already owns. Then she asked for a new stuffed bear. When she asked if she could get both, I heard myself say, out loud and without a hint of irony, You can either buy new clothes for your unicorns or you can build a bear. This is what domestic life does. It can reduce you to sounding like a fool in the middle of a store. But it can also open you up to parts of yourself that lay dormant, covered over by the wounds of living a life. Being open to the every day absurdities of being a parent/grandparent can facilitate a writer's imagination. Nothing wrong with that.