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, September 24, 2014

I'm Thinking Of ...

   My son, husband, and I often play a guessing game.  It’s a great way to pass the time when we’re out at a restaurant waiting for our food.  It requires no batteries, no extra parts; just the three of us, thinking and talking.  

   We give each other riddles.  I’m thinking of an animal that can swim in the water and hop around on land.  When it’s younger it has a tail.  It has a long tongue.  (A frog).

   Recently, I adapted the game so it became a biography version.  I’m thinking of a man who has a very important job.  He is also a husband and a daddy to two daughters.  He’s lived in many places including Hawaii and Indonesia, but now he lives in Washington D.C.  (President Obama)

   The biographies version was new which meant that my son wanted to keep playing it.  Over and over.  The longer we played, the more I had to really think about who I could translate into clues.  I thought of people my son has learned about in school (Andy Warhol, Rosa Parks), and people he’s learned about at home (van Gogh, Monet, Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, Michael Jordan).  And I noticed that almost all my clues began with “I’m thinking of a man.”  

   Because I’ve taught for twelve years, I had plenty of women I could have described; after all, I used to make my upper-grade students complete a Women’s History Month Project each March.  But my son is in first grade, and school hasn’t exposed him to many  influential women.  (Yet).

   And that’s when I felt like I had shortchanged my son.  Have I somehow dropped the ball by not exposing my son to more women?  Is it my fault or am I being too hard on myself (something I am apt to do)?  I thought about what we’ve introduced him to, what’s in our home.  There are the Baby Monet and Baby van Gogh DVDs from the Little Einstein Company that first got my son interested in the work of those great artists.  And truthfully certain figures, such as Dr. Seuss and Michael Jordan, are incomparable.

   On the other hand, I never did go through our home and count the number of male artists that are represented by the pieces hanging on our walls, and I’ve never tallied up how many female authors have written the books that are on my son’s bookcases.  So while there’s a part of me that doesn’t feel it’s overly important (he is only six after all), I do want my son to understand that men and women, of all different backgrounds, are capable of, and have produced, some fantastic work. 

   And someday, he’ll be one of them!


  1. You certainly have no reason to feel guilty.Ryan is exposed to so many different things.Let's face it I don't think many 6 year olds can talk about and point out the works of Monet and van Gogh,etc.I know I keep saying Ryan is an exceptional child,but it is very true and you are doing a wonderful job in raising him.I love you both very much.

  2. Honey,
    You do a wonderful job in exposing Ryan to so many great stories and historical figures. You are a wonderful mother to Ryan! I Love You!

  3. Ryan loves learning and he remembers everything. He is one special little boy. I love being with him. Your mother & I are proud of you.
    Love, dad