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 15, 2012

Disneyland Day

   A few weeks ago, we took Ryan to the happiest place on Earth.  It was our first family visit to Disneyland.  We had promised Ryan a trip to Mickey and Minnie’s home to celebrate the fact that he was four years old, potty trained, and would soon be starting preschool.  A trip to Disneyland is not something I take lightly.  It’s a big deal.  And I felt that Ryan should be old enough to understand what he was seeing, to hopefully have some memory of it, and recognize that it was a special occasion.

   He had a great time.  Lots of smiles, lots of “What’s that?”, and promptly fell asleep in the car on the way home.

   I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the whole misnomer of Disneyland being the “happiest place on Earth.”  I don’t know who first coined that phrase, but I think they lied. 

   Here are four reasons why Disneyland isn’t the happiest place on Earth.
  1. Expensive.  $255 for tickets.  $15 for parking.  We were lucky; we brought food from home and spent minimally (or as minimally as you can at an amusement park) for hot dogs.  Ryan also didn’t want any souvenirs, so our out-of-pocket expenses weren’t nearly as bad as they could have been.
  2. Crowds.  There are people.  Everywhere.  Waiting for rides, in the restrooms, taking pictures where you want to take pictures, getting in and out of the parking structure.  Sometimes it feels like there’s no space to stop and breathe.
  3. Lines.  Children are not always the most patient representatives of our species.  Especially when it comes to something they deem to be fun.  They want it now.  Ryan did a great job waiting, but he didn’t understand why every ride we went on (except the carousel) had other people wanting to go on before us.
  4. Exhausting.  Disneyland is big.  There’s a lot to see, a lot of walking, a lot of not letting your guard down.  We did an abbreviated visit (it’s all my legs could do), but between walking, going on rides, and driving home, our family was exhausted afterwards.

   Disneyland is great at creating illusions.  Illusions of merriment and wonder and happiness.  That’s not the happiness our family knows.  For us, happiness is looking in the rearview mirror, seeing Ryan wearing his red sunglasses, arms tucked behind his head, as he sings along to “Eternal Flame.”  Happiness is sitting on the patio, reading Wacky Wednesday (again).

   Will we return to Disneyland?  Yes.  Sometime in the future.  Most likely to celebrate another of Ryan’s milestones.  Next summer, we’ll pick a different adventure.  And, because we treasure the little things, wherever our adventure takes us will be a happy place on Earth.


  1. I think it is horrible that these amusement parks charge so much money to get in.The costs are way over priced.I was so concerned about you going seeing you shouldn't be doing so much walking with your condition and you certainly paid the price for it afterwards.I am glad Ryan enjoyed and I know you promised to take him considering all the big changes that were taking place for him at the time.I love reading your work.I love you and I am very proud of you.

  2. I regret not being with Ryan the first time he encountered a small world. It is my impression that all children are spell bound when entering "its a small world". You are a wonderfull parent. Ryan is lucky to have you as his Mother. Your Mother & I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad

  3. Honey,
    I'm proud of how we set up Ryan's first trip to Disneyland! The look on his face and in his eyes was priceless. It is crazy how expensive and crowded it is there. I really enjoyed our summer together and cherish our moments together as a family!
    I Love You!