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, December 21, 2011

When I Grow Up

   I asked my son “the question” for the first time.  “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  

   Ryan is three-and-a-half-years old, and up until now, the conversation had never come up.  But we were reading (and re-reading) the charming Tina Louise book When I Grow Up, and I was curious.  What was my little boy thinking?  Which scenario did he picture himself in?  

   His answer, and the way he answered, surprised me.

   He stopped, put his finger to his chin, giving my question careful consideration and answered, “A firefighter.”  My son has never demonstrated an enthusiasm for any firefighter-related subjects.  We visit our neighborhood firehouse each year on its open house, we listen for sirens, notice some firetrucks are larger than others, but that’s about it.    And yet from all the careers mentioned in the book (teacher, nurse, fashion designer, president, Olympic athlete, magician, police officer, scuba diver, archaeologist), he saw himself as a firefighter.

   But then came my favorite part of his response.  Ryan asked, “What else?”

   I love this freedom, my son’s utter belief that he doesn’t have to restrict himself to one answer, and that any career is possible.  Because it’s true.  It’s true for all of us until someone tells us otherwise.

   No one has yet put any labels or limits or restrictions on my son.  No one has told him he’s good at this and not so good at that, and for those reasons his career choices are already decided for him. 
   I wish I felt that same confidence.  I wish I saw a world of opportunities and possibilities open to me.  Maybe then I would be more brave and undaunted and more willing to make a change with my own career. 

   With kids,you never know.  I can ask my son “the question” next week and get an entirely different answer.  I might ask him again and receive the same “firefighter” reply.  Whatever his answer, my response will be the same, “You can be anything you want.”


  1. You are absolutely correct, Ryan can be anything he wants and no matter what his choice, like his Mother, he will be good at it. I have watched with pleasure, Ryan's development, he is a very gifted child. I cedit his mother for the way he is. He is a pleasure. Your Mother & I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad

  2. It makes you wonder how Ryan picked Fire Fighter over anything else.He is truly an exceptional child and he will do well with whatever choices he makes.You have done a wonderful job in raising him and he is a very lucky little boy to have you for his mommy.I love him so and I know he will always bring you lots of happiness.I love you and I am very proud of you.

  3. Honey,
    Our son amazes me everyday! He is a true gift to our world. I Love You two with all off my heart!