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, April 9, 2014

A Beautiful Reminder

You are braver you believe Stronger than you seem and Smarter than you think

   Those are the words engraved on a silver bracelet, a gift I received for my birthday.  It’s a reminder I need.

   Like everything else in life, living with a chronic medical condition involves a balancing act between two different situations:  giving in to the pain/surrendering to it/resting and fighting the pain/powering through it/trying to ignore it at all costs.

   Throughout my student years, I was always described as smart.  I could accept that compliment at face value; after all, I had the grades to prove it.  Other comments about more objective qualities, such as beauty and bravery, were more subjective.  I didn’t always trust a compliment that came my way; but a criticism, I most often believed whole-heartedly.

   This disease of mine gives me one more way to doubt myself, one more way to look at myself as inadequate and incapable.  And yet, when I’m logical and objective I can acknowledge my efforts and recognize that I’m doing a pretty damn good job living my life.  Problem is, it’s always easier to find fault with something I did or didn’t do.  Hence, the need for the bracelet and its positive affirmation.  

   There’s a scene in the film Under the Tuscan Sun when Diane Lane’s character, Frances, is reminded that all her dreams have come true -- the wedding at her villa, the family living in her newly renovated home.  Her dreams, however, had taken on a slightly different version, and thus were not immediately noticeable to her.  The same has happened to me.  In all honesty, the last few years of my teaching career, I’d dread the start of the new school year.  I’d joke that I was waiting for someone I know to win the lottery and share the prize money with me so that I wouldn’t have to work and could stay home with my son.  I fantasized that someday a magazine would recognize my writing talents and pay me to write for them.

   My dreams have come true.  I am a stay-at-home mom, actively participating in my son’s daily activities.  A website has recognized my writing talents and does compensate me for the two posts I write each week.  Those hopes and dreams have just taken a different form, come at a different price.  

   Without the pain, without the disease that is a part of who I am and what I do each day, I wouldn’t have achieved my dreams.  It’s a “no pain, no gain” type of situation for me. 

   And through the lows and the tears, I must remember that I remain a strong, brave, smart woman.  The disease hasn’t changed that; in fact, it probably has only made me realize just how strong and brave and smart I am.


  1. You are by far no way inadequate or incapable.You are a very strong and brave and beautiful person.A person who does not deserve this horrible painful condition you were given.With all the pain you are in daily,with all the medication you must take daily,and with all the doctor appointments who must go to you are doing a REMARKABLE job in raising Ryan.He is a remarkable child.You are running your house perfectly.You are a great wife,a devoted and wonderful daughter.No parent could ask for a better daughter than you.I love you and I am so proud of you.

  2. You are one very special person. Your mother & I feel blessed to have the relationship with you that we have. Your mother & I are proud of you.
    love, dad

  3. Honey,
    You are a brave, beautiful and strong woman. I Love You!

  4. You are so brave, strong and smart. I am so happy you finally have the time to be the writer you've always wanted to be. I am so very very proud of you. I love reading your work.