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, August 3, 2011

Skirting the Issue

   For most of my jobs, wearing a skirt just wasn’t a realistic option.  You don’t wear a skirt and babysit an infant.  You don’t work in a flower shop - unloading bunches of roses flown in from Ecuador, designing corsages and boutonnieres for a wedding, sweeping and mopping the floor at the end of the day while wearing a skirt.  And, you don’t wear a skirt to shelf books in a public library.

   When I became a teacher, wearing a skirt wasn’t easy either.  Teaching kindergarten required me to spend a great deal of time each day sitting on the carpet.  When I began teaching fourth grade, I decided to wear a skirt once a week.  Jeans one day, skirt one day, slacks the other 3 days.  That was my un-official uniform.  
   The year I was pregnant, I deviated from my uniform policy.  And this past year, the year I began having trouble with my legs, I stopped wearing skirts completely.  Now, my skirts were never shorter than my knee, but even that length suddenly felt too short.

   My legs look different than they used to.  I have blue, purple, and red veins snaking down my legs, weaving in and out like the interchanges on a busy freeway.  I am self-conscious.  Children look.  Children wonder.  Children ask (“Why do your legs look like that?).  And children comment (Your legs have a lot of veins).  Now, to further “decorate” my legs, I have a one-and-a-half-inch scar on the upper left portion of my calf.

   So, I stopped wearing skirts.  

   And, if I’m honest, I didn’t just stop wearing skirts because of my students.  I also stopped because of my colleagues.  Adults don’t always have a much better filter than children.  They often say the first thing that comes to their mind.  And sometimes, those first thoughts are hurtful and unkind.

   But I miss wearing my skirts.  I find that when I wear skirts, I carry myself differently.  Stand a little straighter.  Sit a little higher.  Feel a little prettier and more feminine.  

   There’s a part of me that thinks, “The heck with it;” I’m going to wear what I want to wear, and maybe just invest in some dark panty hose.  I’m going to celebrate the fact that regardless of the pain my legs are causing me, they are still functioning.  

   And then there’s the other part of me that sighs - loudly, and thinks, it’s just not worth it.  Put on a pair of pants and don’t worry about it.


  1. Honey,
    You are a beautiful woman!
    I am proud of you and your amazing writing skills.
    I Love You!

  2. It is pretty sad how comments are made.It is bad enough when a child makes a comment,but when it comes from an adult it is so un-called for considering how some of these adults dress.It makes you wonder if they even look at themselves in the mirror before going outside.You are a beautiful person both inside and out,and you have beautiful legs.If people are going to stand so close to you to examine your legs then let them,but DON'T stop wearing skirts.You look lovely in skirts and you always dress like a LADY.I love you and I am so very proud of you.

  3. You are a beautiful person. I Love you not just because you are my daughter, but because of the person you are. You Mother & I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad

  4. You know that we have always had this discussion about your legs. They look like what they look like and you can't change it. Celebrate who you are. Wear your pink skirt and your jean skirt!!! I loved seeing your skirts.. How are your brown pants? Don't tell me you also stopped wearing these. Next time some adult says something about your legs, tell them to go look in the mirror. I miss you best friend and your legs too.. Beautiful writing!!! Love you