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, June 24, 2015

Living in Pain

                                          Me in Cambria, about six weeks before Ryan's birth

   When I was pregnant, I didn’t change any of my usual behaviors.  I cooked, I cleaned.  I grocery shopped.  I ran errands.  And I continued to teach.  About seven weeks before my son was born, I even took my fourth-grade class on a walking field trip from our elementary school to a neighborhood public park. (About a mile walk, each way).  My students had the opportunity to meet their pen pals, fourth-graders from a different elementary school.  (They had written letters back and forth all year, a fun way of teaching the friendly letter format, and our meet-up trip was always the highlight of their letter-writing experience.)

   About a month-and-a-half before Ryan’s birth, I did all the driving on our trip to Cambria (located about halfway between L.A. and San Francisco).  We were celebrating my husband’s thirty-second birthday, and trying to savor every moment in one of our favorite vacation spots on what we knew would be our last trip for a while.  

   And I didn’t go out on an early maternity leave.  In fact, I left work on a Friday afternoon to begin my maternity leave, thinking I’d have about a week until my son’s birth.  Instead, he was born that Sunday -- a mere two days after my last day at work.

   It never occurred to me that I couldn’t do any of these things.  That I shouldn’t do these things.  In my mind, I was pregnant, but still fully capable of doing all the things I wanted to do.

   Now it seems like the tables have turned.  Now, I feel like everything I do, or think about doing, is measured with a series of questions.  Do I think I can do it?  Will this cause me a lot of pain?  Will this activity lead to an increased amount of pain experienced over a period of several days?  You may remember that a few weeks ago I wrote about attending the high school graduation for one of my former kindergarten students.  (Here's the link in case you missed that post:  http://wendykennar.blogspot.com/2015/06/a-bittersweet-graduation.html)  That event -- the drive to and from Pasadena, sitting through a two hour ceremony, the long day and night -- contributed to an increased amount of pain that I felt for days.  

   My son is on summer vacation, and we’ve been spending a lot of time together.  Our “dates” (trips to the library, the book store, out for frozen yogurt) do take their toll on me.  And it frustrates me that our dates, our games of basketball, the time we spend together can lead to so much pain.  So much pain that the other day, I sat on my patio glider and started to cry in front of my son.  And my seven-year-old son is then put in the uncomfortable situation of seeing his Mommy, the grown-up in charge, hurting and crying.

   And there’s really nothing anyone can do about it.

   And the whole thing just pisses me off.


  1. Each time I was pregnant I also did everything and never thought of slowing down from my usual everyday schedule.I had good pregnancies and hardly gained any weight.It tears me apart knowing all the pain you are in on a daily basis and then when you do certain activities the pain becomes so much worse.I have said it before and I will contue to say if I could take the pain from you and put it on me I would do it in a minute.I love you and I am so proud of you.

  2. It amazes me with all the pain you are in how you keep pushing yourself. I hate seeing you in so much pain. Your mother & I wish we could take your pain and put it on us. Your mother & I are very proud of you.
    Love, dad

  3. Honey,
    I see first hand how difficult this pain is for you daily. Through it all you are a wonderful mother to Ryan and an amazing wife and best friend to me. I wish that this pain will subside someday for you. I love you with all of my heart!
    Love, Paul

  4. I remember those days and the person you were. I am so proud of you for pushing through the pain and being the best mom ever. I love you.