Raising a Boy


precious boy sign (photo by Wendy Kennar)

What does it mean to raise a boy?

I’ll be honest.  When I learned I was pregnant with my son, I was a bit worried.  Aside from my limited time with my two nephews, I had no prior experience with young boys.  All my babysitting jobs had involved girls. 

Turns out that in many respects raising a boy isn’t much different from raising a girl.  Until, that boy gets older. 

Click here to read my personal essay “Raising a Boy” that was recently published on MomsLA.com.

Publishing Success

Anthologies (photo by Wendy Kennar)

“My books” — Anthologies which have published my personal essays

I should tell you that I’m generally not very good at tooting my own horn.  I tend to avoid the spotlight, downplay my accomplishments, and brush off compliments.

Having written all that, I’m trying to change that part of my personality.  To accept compliments with a sincere “thank you,” and to be proud of what I’ve done.

So on that note, I’d like to share with my readers something I’m proud of.  The Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension has written a brief “Success Story” about me!  Click here to read it.

Carrying On the Dream


Dr. King pictures (photo by Wendy Kennar)

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s recent birthday, I wanted to share a story.  The other night at dinner, my son was telling us that some of his classmates were talking about how much they dislike our President-Elect.  They dislike him so much they “hate” him, and they want to “punch him in the face.” 

My son told his classmates that they needed to do what Dr. King said — fight with their words and not their bodies.

I sat across from my son and felt my eyes fill with tears.

My son had said that.  Out loud to his classmates.  He didn’t just think it, but he said it.  It made me so very proud of him — his character, his values.  And it made me proud of our family.

Hope, and proof, that the dream lives on.

Fairness, Love and Marriage


wedding cake topper (photo by Wendy Kennar)

“When two people get married, does it only have to be a man and a woman?  Or can it be two men?  Or two women?”

That was the question my son asked me, and that’s the beginning of a personal essay that was recently published at MomsLA.com.

You can read the complete essay here.

A Brave Start to the Year


ferris wheel (photo by Paul Kennar)

On Sunday, we started the New Year with a family adventure — my eight-year-old son went on his first Ferris Wheel ride.  And not just any Ferris Wheel, but the world’s only solar-powered Ferris Wheel.  Standing in line, waiting to board, our son began to get nervous.  “Will it go fast?”  “Is it relaxing?”  he asked us. 

He told us he was getting nervous but that he still wanted to try.  And that’s what made me most proud.  My son didn’t walk away.  He didn’t change his mind about going on the ride.  We did it, as a family.  And, he loved it!

I tried not to make too big of a deal about it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how this one outing really set the tone for what I hope will be a great 2017.  Trying new things, having family adventures, being brave, and not letting fear or worry keep us from doing what we want to do.

Looking Ahead


family calendar (photo by Wendy Kennar)

During the last few days of December, a lot of people tend to start looking ahead to the new year.  They’re busy making resolutions; promises to themselves (or others) about things they want to change and/or do better.  And, for the most part, they seem to tie it all to one particular date — the first of January.

I used to look at the new year in much the same way.  But, not anymore.

For our family, important new beginnings and significant milestones don’t take place on January 1st.  Instead they’re sprinkled throughout the year.  Like in March, when my husband and I will celebrate the 20th anniversary of our first date.  And in August, when my son will begin a new school year as a fourth grader, the same grade I taught for more than half of my teaching career.    

To my readers, warm wishes for a happy and healthy 2017!

Holiday Happiness


Christmas tree (photo by Wendy Kennar)

When my husband and I first moved in together, we weren’t yet husband and wife.  (We were engaged to be married and were a year later).  We also weren’t two people with a lot of disposable income.  Actually very little disposable income.  Finances were so tight, that I kept a record of every dollar we spent.  What wasn’t absolutely necessary, wasn’t purchased.

Except for one thing.  I wanted (not needed, but deeply wanted) a real live Christmas tree.  Growing up my family always had an artificial tree.  In fact for most of my childhood, our tree was white (to resemble a snow-covered tree) adorned with blue ornaments.  (Which in fact worked out quite nicely since blue and white are the Chanukah colors, and my family celebrated a mish-mash of Chanukah and Christmas).

But living on my own I wanted a tree.  So we saved our money and bought one.  And every year since, we’ve had a live tree. 

This year it was our son who found the “perfect” tree.  And this year it was mostly our eight-year-old son who decorated the tree.  But that’s what makes the tree become our tree. 

Happy Holidays to all my readers!