About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Uniquely Me

“This product has been made by hand with love.  
Some variations in color and pattern may occur,
making each piece
unique and special.”
The above statement was imprinted on an elephant-shaped tag attached to a purse purchased at Cost Plus World Market.  If babies came with a manuel, I think this statement should be on the front cover.  In large font.  All-capitals.
We encourage our children to use their imaginations, to be different.  We remind them they don’t have to be like everyone else.  We marvel at their creations - whether it’s a Lego structure, a drawing, or a fort made in the living room.  Then they get older, and there’s a shift, a need  to conform and be more like everyone else.  Wearing what other kids are wearing.  Carrying the same type of backpack or lunchbox.  
And as children grow into young adults, they all suddenly look so much the same.  A group of girls out shopping with their hair styled the same way, same pattern on their too-short skirts, nails polished in the same color.  They could be any girl.  
Even as an adult in my thirties, I have to remind myself that I am different.  Decidely so.  It is not most people who wear rings on eight out of ten fingers.  Not most people who begin their voicemail message with “Aloha.”  Many times, I still fall into the trap and compare myself to other women.  Women with flatter stomachs, firmer thighs, and clearer complexions.  Women who walk with confidence exuding the air of “I am special, you should look at me.”  And we do, we look.  But then I realize, there’s not much that’s special about them.  Most of these women could be any woman.
And I’m not any woman.  I am me, this woman.  
The challenge now is to encourage my son to retain all that makes him “Ryan.”  The boy who loves to spell and exaggerate each letter as he recites the letters from the Cheerios box while we shop at the market.  The child who becomes frustrated and will say, “No, Sorry.”  Translation - “No, that’s not right.  Now apologize, Mommy, for doing it wrong.”  My little guy who walks backwards and says he’s “moonwalking.”
Because my son is the ultimate handmade product.  He was made with love.  And he is certainly unique and special.


  1. You are truly an EXCEPTIONAL person and I am so thankful to have you for my daughter.Never compare yourself to anyone else as anyone who knows you loves you just as you are.I couldn't ask for a more wonderful daughter.Thank you for being you.I love you and I am very proud of you.

  2. You are unique, one of a kind. When I look at you I see someone special. You have accomplished much in your life. Your greatest accomplishment is Ryan, who is also unique and one of a kind, Your Mother and I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad

  3. P.S.Ryan is a very special child and he is very lucky to have you for his mommy.I love him so much.

  4. Honey,

    This article is beautiful to read. Just like the woman who wrote it!

    Ryan is so lucky to have a unique and amazing mother!

    I Love You!