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 7, 2013

Breaking the Rules

   I first began breaking the rules in high school.  They were other people’s rules for my life.  Other people, namely teachers and counselors, had ideas about my high school career - classes I should take (AP History and Calculus) and careers I should pursue (not teaching).  During high school I reached the equivalent of “burn out” - tired of pushing myself to earn straight A’s, tired of the honors classes, tired of living up to everyone else’s expectations.  I rebelled and took “regular classes,” decided I would become a teacher so I could do things differently and not treat my students the way my teachers had treated me.

   As a young adult, I decided to continue the rule-breaking trend.  I moved in with the man who would become my husband when we were both just shy of our twenty-second birthdays.  A year later we were married, in a non-denominational chapel with a reception in my parents’ living room where the twenty-five guests enjoyed cake and champagne.  Again, I had done it wrong.  Lived with a man before we were married.  Had a simple wedding instead of an elaborate ceremony.

   Our married life was more of the same - making choices that fit our lifestyle while not adhering to everyone else’s pre-conceived ideas.  We lived in Los Angeles, without a car.  He worked, I went to college and worked part-time.  We rented an apartment and had no immediate plans to become homeowners.

   Some thought we might “settle down,” finally fit into the mold others had lined up for us.  We didn’t.  We continued to rent when we moved from our one bedroom apartment into a three bedroom town home.  We chose to postpone parenthood, waiting nine years after our wedding to welcome our son into the world.     

   We’re terrible parents, to some.  We haven’t done it right.  We rent a home, instead of owning one that would require a lengthy daily commute to and from our jobs.  Instead, we both worked less than five miles from our home.  And we are not having another child.

   People - family, co-workers, mere acquaintances, are never shy to voice their disapproval.  We have broken the rules; gone against the norm.  To me it makes perfect sense that my husband and I would be these renegade adults - we each have committed to our relationship, living the way we both thought was best for us.  We have heard comments about our inter-racial relationship, our son’s skin color, and though the year is 2013 and we have again elected an African-American president, certain limitations still exist.

   Turns out, the general population isn’t as open-minded as we may have hoped.  People have very fixed ideas about the boxes our lives should fit into.  And when we instead make the choices that are best for us, it is deemed wrong.  We have broken the unspoken rules.  

   We will continue to do so.  And I can only hope that our son will follow in our footsteps.


  1. I am sorry you have had to deal with all the horrible comments you have received from others.You are making a wonderful home life for Ryan and he is doing so well.You became a fantastic teacher,and if not for health reasons you would still be teaching.Your students loved you and the parents spoke very highly of you.You have done nothing wrong.Skin color should not make a difference.I have always believed if my children are happy with their spouse's and their spouse's make a good life for them then that makes daddy and I happy.I love you and I am very proud of you.

  2. For someone who believes that they live by different rules, you have had a positive influence on many people. Your stories are being published and your son is gifted. In our time, skin color and inter-racial marriages are acccepted. You have the ability to think out-side of the box. You are a leader not a follower. I am very proud of you.

    Love, Dad

  3. Honey,
    I am very proud of our life together! We have always followed our hearts and we know what makes us happy!
    I Love You!