There isn’t one thing that defines me - although sometimes it feels like it. Sometimes it feels like I am MOMMY (yes, all capitals are intended). Every fiber of being is consumed with taking care of my son. Other times, I have 32 students who are each demanding my attention and I am not “Wendy,” I am “Mrs. Kennar.” When there are quiet moments to reflect on my life, I realize that I associate with different natural entities, and for different reasons.
Here’s my hybrid:
Butterflies have become one of my hallmarks. Although, I didn’t always like butterflies. Mainly because of my dad’s mother, and here I use the term “mother” loosely. She was biologically his mother, my grandmother, but where it counts - in actions, in love - she wasn’t. She liked butterflies, had butterfly prints and butterfly specimens framed and adorning the walls of her house. And if she liked them, I couldn’t, out of principle.
Now, I am a butterfly person. I admire their transformative nature, the way they begin their lives as less-than-attractive caterpillars and evolve into beautiful creatures. Butterflies appear gentle and dainty, yet they’re strong and go the distance. I like to think that’s me. For most of my early years, I saw myself as a caterpillar, and now I like to think I’ve evolved into a more appreciated, more respected butterfly.
Whales are commonly referred to as “gentle giants.” For a while, I entertained the idea of becoming a marine biologist, working at Sea World or on a ship studying and observing these phenomenal creatures. These large animals gracefully, and seemingly effortless, glide through the water, breech and leap in exuberance. Whales are intelligent, and respected for their intelligence. For a while, I was embarrassed by mine. I was tired of being the “smart girl.” I wanted to be the pretty girl, the funny girl, the popular girl - anything but the “straight-A girl.” Whales are who they are, and we study them and respect them for it. Whales are also quite social, living and traveling with their family pods - a concept I don’t quite understand as the older I get the relationships with my siblings unravel.
And then there’s the moon. For many years, I was going to be an astronaut. No question about it. More specifically, I would be the first woman to walk on the moon. The moon was mysterious and enchanting, captivating and alluring, indescribably beautiful. People studied it, wrote poems about it, painted it. From a distance, nothing compared to the moon. Up close though, the moon looked like a different terrestrial body. Pockmarks and craters interrupted the surface. And that was my teenage face - disturbed by acne markings. If only, someone could stand back and see I did have beauty also. I could be appreciated for my looks.
Now, I’m in my mid-thirties (gasp! when did that happen?). I am who I am. And, I’ve got some admirable personality traits that I intend to celebrate and be proud of.