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 16, 2013

How Do You Act Your Age?

         I’ve been thinking a lot about age lately.  I’m thirty-seven years old, and suddenly the big “4-0” is rapidly approaching.  It’s gotten me thinking about Meg Ryan’s character, Sally, from When Harry Met Sally, lamenting that she would someday be 40.  She felt it was a big dead-end just waiting for her.  I certainly don’t feel like it’s a dead-end, but it is definitely closer than further.  Then there’s Stella, the protagonist in Terry McMillan’s How Stella Got Her Groove Back.  I remember reading the novel, seeing the movie, and thinking that 40 was so far away.  Not anymore.

   I’m not really sure how thirty-seven is supposed to feel, but it’s not what I expected.    Disability and retirement are not usual topics of conversation for a couple in their thirties with a young son.  Yet, they are frequent topics of conversation in our home.  There are times I feel much older, weighted down by restrictions and medical issues that are at the forefront of my life.

   Other times, I feel hopeful.  I am only thirty-seven years old.  I had a successful teaching career.  I’m beginning a successful, I hope, writing career.  There’s so much time ahead of me, so many possibilities.

      We are advised to “act our age.”  But how do you act your age, when your insides don’t always match your outsides?

   At times, I’m young like my son.  Stretched across the floor playing a game of tickle and chase.  Sitting in the grass, observing a ladybug on a blade of grass.  Outside, looking up, marveling at the moon that greets us on the way to school.

   Other times, I’m old, senior citizen old.  Retired from my teaching position.  A calendar of doctor’s appointments.  A multitude of pills.  Physical limitations restricting my activities.  Needing help getting up from the floor.

   And I’m too young for that.  I feel too young to be retired due to a chronic medical condition.  I feel too young to be tied down to doctors’ appointments and prescription bottles.  Too young to own a walker, too young to be declared physically unable to serve on jury duty (Okay, that one I don’t mind.  At all.)

   Maybe I had to get this disease to leave teaching and give me the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mommy, concentrating on my writing.  I never, voluntarily, would have left teaching, regardless of how frustrated or disappointed I may have become with the educational system.  I was there for the kids, and I believed I could help and make a positive difference in their lives.

   When I think about it, some of my major life events occurred at ages I didn’t expect them to.  At the age of twenty-two, I moved out of my parents’ home and in with the man who is now my husband.  I was married a few weeks shy of my twenty-third birthday.  Sometimes, plans happen on a different timetable than the one we originally imagined for ourselves.  I think my disability and retirement are like that.

   At any rate, I’m thirty-seven years old, and much like when I was seventeen, I’m figuring things out as I go.


  1. I know even though you would get frustrated at times you loved teaching,and you in fact made a difference in all the kid's lives you touched.You were a wonderful teacher,and I know you had no intentions of leaving your teaching position,but unfortunately your medical condition forced you to leave.It kills me to know how you have to deal with this medical condition and yes you are to young to have to be going through all the pain and restrictions you have,but I hope and pray each day that the pain will ease up for you.If daddy and I could take your pain and put it on to us we would in a minute.I am glad you are able to have more time with Ryan and also more time for your writing.I am so happy to see more and more of your work is being published.You certainly have a way with words.I love you and I am very proud of you.

  2. Honey,
    Your writing is so insightful and honest. You are an amazing writer and I cannot wait for more people to discover your amazing talents!

  3. You were a great teacher,and you are a wonderful mommy. I enjoy reading your work.I wish I could take your pain away. Your mother & I are proud of you.

    love, dad

  4. You are by far, the best teacher and teaching partner I have ever met and had. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with me. The kiddos love you and I know you made a difference in all of their lives!!! I wish we were closer and I wish we could teach together again. I am so proud of your decision and admire your courage and bravery! I love you.