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 3, 2014

(Trying To) Love My Legs

“I think you have to develop a style when you’re ill to keep from falling out of love with yourself.  It’s important to stay in love with yourself.”
- Anatole Broyard, Intoxicated by My Illness

   The problem is I never was a woman who walked around feeling completely in love with myself.  I was a woman who had days when my level of self-appreciation was higher than others.  

   And now I have this medical condition that has changed the way I see myself.  I now consider myself somewhat powerless and much less vulnerable.  On my bad days, I’m weak, I’m damaged, I’m bruised.  On my not-so-bad days, I’m challenged, I’m tough, I’m resilient.

   Back in my teaching days, I usually wore slacks and once a week, a skirt, just to mix it up.  I thought of my legs as strong and thought that with the right A-line skirt, I looked rather attractive.

   Now, though, I don’t see my legs as strong.  I see them as betraying me and playing cruel tricks on me.  Not strong enough for me to walk my son to and from school.  Not strong enough for me to walk around the zoo without contemplating renting a wheelchair.  And, my legs are scarred -- with an actual scar from my muscle biopsy and with a multitude of veins that are crisscrossing my legs and thighs at a rate that alarms me.

   Rationally, I know that prominent veins on my legs is a superficial preoccupation that doesn’t necessarily translate into my general health and well-being.  It is more important that I feel well, rather than my legs looking well.

   However, summer days exacerbate the problem.  I see women, many older than me, who are out and about in cute skirts with nary a vein on the back of their legs.  I never owned many pairs of shorts, but since my leg issues, I own no shorts.  I have resorted to a few capris and rolling up old pairs of jeans to almost-mid-calf.  But even then, there are days when the thermometer climbs, and I don’t want to be hindered by long fabric.  

   On days when the thought of long pants seems unbearable, I bravely wear a skirt, sans panty hose.  When I taught, panty hose and a slip was a requirement for any outfit that didn’t involve slacks.  Today, as I pen these words, I sit in a cafe, bare legs crossed under the table as I wear a knee-length black skirt.

   I’m a bit self-conscious, I’m not used to having my legs exposed.  But my skirt-wearing is my way of celebrating.  These legs of mine, under attack and dealing with daily pain, are still well enough to get me in and out of the car today, and walk me into the cafe.  

   It’s oh-so-easy, to let the pain on bad days overtake everything else -- my mood, my self-confidence, my self-esteem.  I certainly don’t always feel in love with myself, but wearing a skirt is a way of showing my legs some much-needed love.


  1. It kills me to know you are in daily pain,and some days worse than others.Your father and I would give anything to be able to take that pain away from you.You are a very BEAUTIFUL young woman both inside and out,and I really wish you would start believing that.I think you look great in skirts and really wish you would start wearing them more often.I love you and I am so proud of you.

  2. Honey,
    I always love it when you wear your cool skirts! It reminds me of our first dates when we went to L.A.C.C. You are a beautiful woman and I Love You!

  3. You are a strong beautiful young woman. Wear those skirts. Your mother & I are proud of you.
    Love, Dad