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, October 3, 2012

Girls and Boys

I remember my eleventh grade United States history teacher.  She said that regardless of any advances we might make, men and women would never truly be equal.  To prove her point, she said a man could walk down the street without a shirt while a woman who did the same thing would be arrested for indecent exposure.

Since I was pregnant, gender differences have been increasingly apparent.  Maybe more so because I’m raising a son.

Boy or girl, I believe it’s my duty to parent so that my child grows up to be a thoughtful, considerate human being.  Consequently, my four-and-a-half year old son is 
not allowed to own or play with any weapons - no light sabers, no guns, no swords.  I strongly believe that items that can cause death and great bodily harm are not items that should be made into play things.  My son has some cars and trucks - so-called “boy toys.”  However, I’ve done my best to provide him with gender-neutral activities - books, puzzles, sidewalk chalk, blocks.  

Ryan knows there are differences between girls and boys, mommies and daddies.  Boys shave their faces and can go pee-pee standing up.  Girls can wear dresses, polish their nails, and wear lipstick.

I think I’m doing something right when I see my son choose a pink balloon.  He doesn’t see it as a “girl color,” and he doesn’t need to.  It’s simply the balloon color that looks most appealing to him.

As the mother of a son, it’s easy to see some of the neighborhood girls playing in their Disney princess dresses, and confidently think, “No way I’d buy those if I had a daughter.”  Do those dresses (along with the toy guns and swords) send a certain message to our children or am I just analyzing it too much?

I don’t know.  

I do know that my son will grow up in a world where men and women aren’t entirely equal.  One isn’t better than, smarter than, or faster than the other.  They are different.  

And it’s really okay to be different. 


  1. I have to agree with you on all these issues.I have never believed a boy should be playing with guns.There are so many more things they can play with that aren't harmful in real life.I also think it is sick to see a guy walking down the street with no shirt on.You would think they would care more about themselves to dress without exposing themselves in such a sick way.I always look forward to reading your work.I love you and I am so proud of you.

  2. You are doing a wonderfull job of raising Ryan. He is very smart, (Takes after his Mother). Ryan is very polite and easy to be with. I am proud of you and all of your accomplishments. I am glad that Ryan is being brought up in a loving and caring enviornment. Your Mother and I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad

  3. Honey,
    Your writing and observations of life are so thoughtful and insightful. I am very proud of how we are raising our son. He is the greatest gift in the world. I Love You with all of my heart!