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, November 7, 2012

Contrary Costumes

I know Halloween was a week ago, and I should now be thinking of turkey and mashed potatoes.  Instead I’m still scratching my head, wondering what on Earth parents are thinking when they allow their child to dress in certain costumes for Halloween.

My son is four years old so it’s been easy to select Halloween costumes for him.  On his first Halloween, Ryan was a pumpkin, the next year Mickey Mouse, next Pablo the Backyardigan (Pablo and Mickey were hand-me-downs), and this year Ryan was a firefighter.  I know that as Ryan gets older he’ll want to have more of an active part in the decision making process when it comes to selecting his costumes.  And I’ll deal with it when that time comes.

But I’m thinking of the students at my elementary school and what their parents allowed them to wear for our school-wide costume parade.  This year, “blood” was on shirts, hands, and faces.  

Students were dressed as “nerds;” a term I’ve never been fond of nor have I fully understood.  When I have asked students to explain what a nerd is they will first tell me that a nerd is a smart person.  I think that is someone who should be celebrated not teased.  One of my students, in her “nerd” costume, wore large black plastic eyeglass frames, a plaid blazer, lipstick, and carried a clipboard.  One student was dressed as an older woman, complete with extra padding on her backside.  

   The day after Halloween one of my students told me that while he didn’t dress up for our school parade, he did go out trick-or-treating with his family.  His costume?  He was a homeless person - dirty face, torn clothes, bare feet.  I was aghast.

I understand that Halloween is supposed to be a day of fun, a day when you can do things you can’t or wouldn’t normally do.  But why are parents allowing children to participate in this way, to perpetuate some of these stereotypes?


  1. Fantastic picture,and Ryan looked great as a little fireman.I think it is disgusting how parents let their children dress,and what in the world were the parents thinking to let their child dress as a homeless person.Parents today really need to get more involved in their children's lives and learn how to be parents.I am not saying I was and am a perfect parent but I always did what I felt was right and would never allow my children to do what some of these parents are allowing.Your writing is wonderful,and again I want to say how proud I am of your recent article that was published in L.A.Parent.I love you.

  2. Halloween is suppose to be a fun event to celebrate the scary and unusual things in life. Being homeless is not something that should be portrayed by anyone. It is a shame that we have homeless people in our society. I am glad that Ryan is starting to get in the spirit of Halloween and to use Grandma's words "he looks great as a little fireman". Your Mother & I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad

  3. Honey,
    I really enjoying seeing what Ryan will be interested in each year for Halloween. I remember being excited about my Superman and Batman costumes as a kid! So many of the outfits these days for kids are ugly and crude. I am very proud of you, your writing and our firefighter Ryan!