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, March 27, 2013

Birthday Buddies

My son, Ryan, shares his birthday with his grandma and Vincent Van Gogh.  

He also shares his March 30th birthday with Norah Jones, Celine Dion, M. C. Hammer, Paul Reiser, and Eric Clapton.

It’s an eclectic list.

Like Norah Jones and Celine Dion, my son can sing with passion and fervor, as he belts out powerful renditions of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and ”The Wheels on the Bus.”  

My son is happy to dance and “bust a move” like M. C. Hammer.  It doesn’t matter if his audience is mommy or the neighborhood, as he dances on the sidewalk in front of our home.  He’ll walk backwards and try to moonwalk.  He’ll shake his tushie, reach his arms to the sky, and dance with his whole body.

Like Paul Reiser, my son likes to make people laugh.  Sometimes it’s overtly - a tickle to Mommy’s feet.  Sometimes, it’s a look, a tilt of the head, a scrunched up nose, or closed eyes as he attempts to wink.

Channeling Eric Clapton, my son picks up his toy guitar and strums a tune like his life depended on it.  He doesn’t play with merely his hands or his fingers, but with his whole body.  A chord is played and my son’s feet move, his back arches, his head sways.   

Like Van Gogh, my son loves to express himself with vibrant colors.  Purple-grape sidewalk chalk to adorn our back patio with Ryan’s name.  Blueberry-tinted marker to draw a portrait of Mommy.  Red-strawberry construction paper hearts to cut out and give to those we love.

And, like Grandma, Ryan has an infectious laugh.  A laugh that most often leaves him in hiccups afterwards.  A laugh that makes everyone around him smile and join in.  Ryan, like grandma, is big on displays of affection - arms flung around my neck or blowing air kisses over the phone.

  And though my son may share traits with all his “birthday buddies,” he is most certainly his own person.  A boy who sometimes doesn’t like to receive a kiss and will instruct me to “take it back.”  A boy who, unlike his Mommy, will  put down a chocolate chip cookie to eat carrots instead.  A boy who will put his left pointer finger to his cheek, tilt his head to one side, and says, “I think...”

With each passing year, I am more in awe of my son.  Almost five years ago, this little boy wasn’t here.  

With each passing year, I’m more and more honored.  I get to be “Ryan’s Mommy.”  

On March 30th, Ryan won’t be the only one blowing out candles on a birthday cake.  But he’ll be the only Ryan.  


  1. Honey,
    This article is a wonderful read! I am so proud of how we are raising Ryan. He has made me a better person. It is like having your heart and soul jump out into the world as this amazing new person. I Love You and Ryan with all of my heart!

  2. I am honored to share my birthay with Ryan.He is truly a remarkable child,and one in a million.You are doing a wonderful job in raising him,and he loves you so.When my phone rings and I answer it to his loving voice I just melt.I agree even though he shares his birthdate with me and others he is certainly his own person.I look forward each week to reading your work. I am also so happy for you that you were just published.I love you and I am very proud of you.

  3. This is a well written article. Ryan is an exceptional child. A leader not a follower. Ryan has achieved excellence in every endeavor. I am proud of Ryan. I love your articles. Your are a great Mommy and have a gift with words. Your Mother & I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad