Everyone Should Have a Becky

Today’s a big birthday for Becky – much bigger than you’d think to look at her. And she’s even more beautiful inside than out, the kind of person this world needs ten million more of, the kind of sister I wish everyone had.

And that’s not just her big sister talking.  Becky’s the heart and soul of her family, of her church and her huge group of friends, and of random interactions with anyone anywhere. Her quiet warmth, interest, and engagement are clearly genuine, and she has the rare gift of always saying or doing exactly the right thing at exactly the right time. Whether you’ve known her a minute or a lifetime, you can tell she “gets” you. She knows what you mean and understands why it matters. You feel as if she’s your sister too.

Becky is everyone’s all-occasion go-to, whether they’re blue, at a loss, or have wonderful news to share — every day I feel blessed that, as partners, I get so much of her in-demand time. And by the way, we wouldn’t be partners, we wouldn’t have LitWits, you wouldn’t have LitWits without her. It was her idea, during a much-dreamed of trip to Venice, that we bring books to life for kids like we did as kids. (There’s the 2010 moment, below.) Frankly, I thought her idea was too good to be true – if there were a market for “just having fun with great books,” I was sure it would be saturated.

But I was wrong – no one does what we do, and our workshops proved far more popular than we’d dreamed. And the best part of being wrong is spending loads more time with Becky, the creative genius behind LitWits, the one who comes up with “all the fun stuff” (in which there are lessons galore). She’s the reason we have all those imaginative, thoughtful projects you share with your kids through LitWits Kits.

So there would be no LitWits without Becky – I don’t think there would even be me.

I wish you could all have a friend and teaching partner like I do. Someone who drops everything she’s doing to be present for you, to listen to your every sentence and give you a heartfelt, empathetic, nonjudgmental response. Someone you can count on, who shows up for everything you do, no matter how booked she is. Someone to be ridiculous with, to run crazy ideas past, to vent to and laugh with, to turn to for “the right thing to do.” Someone who adores you, who makes you feel you can’t ever do anything wrong (except maybe the good wrong of going AWOL and posting glowing accolades about her without her knowledge – at least I didn’t tell you her age!).

We always say the two of us share a brain; some days one of us seems to have absconded with it; other days neither one of us can find it. But there’s never any question who has the heart.

Happy birthday, Becky – I love you so much, and am so grateful for my sister, best friend, and partner.

Becky and Jenny Clendenen, sisters and founders of LitWits Workshops


Jenny Walicek

  • Ashley Anderson

    June 13, 2018 at 5:56 am Reply

    Now this is beautiful! Happy birthday, Becky!

    • Jenny Walicek

      June 14, 2018 at 6:11 am Reply

      Aw thank you Ashley – we’ve been off the grid celebrating, having a wonderful time. Becky says thank you too. ?

      • Becky Kimball

        June 17, 2018 at 12:09 pm Reply

        You bet I thank you too Ashley! My sweet sister is always the one to see only the best in people and I get to be on the receiving end of all that love. ❤️

  • Tricia

    June 13, 2018 at 7:09 am Reply

    I love that. What a glorious tribute to your sister! I have a special sister also, she loves books too. I can’t imagine my life without her. I think the four of us could have tea together and talk non stop!

    • Jenny Walicek

      June 14, 2018 at 6:10 am Reply

      Tricia I am so glad to hear that you have “a Becky” – aren’t we lucky? It would be SO FUN to get together and discover what else we have in common! I’ll bet there’s lots more than our mutual love of great books. Thank you so much for reading at appreciating and commenting.

    • Becky Kimball

      June 17, 2018 at 12:11 pm Reply

      Thank you, Tricia! I am the lucky one, for sure. If only everyone could have a Jenny! I’m glad you have a sister to share life with. I can’t imagine life without mine.

  • Kristin Nama

    June 14, 2018 at 12:17 am Reply

    Cheers to you lovely ladies!

    • Jenny Walicek

      June 14, 2018 at 6:05 am Reply

      Thank you so much Kristin – we appreciate your warm support, always!

    • Becky Kimball

      June 17, 2018 at 12:11 pm Reply

      Thank you, Kristin! We appreciate you 🙂

  • Jennifer L Pitino

    June 14, 2018 at 12:57 am Reply

    Wow! So beautifully said, Jenny. Happy Birthday, Becky❣️

    • Jenny Walicek

      June 14, 2018 at 6:03 am Reply

      Thank you from both of us, Jennifer! 🙂

    • Becky Kimball

      June 17, 2018 at 12:12 pm Reply

      Thank you Jennifer! My sister made it amazing 🙂

  • Suzanne Andersen

    June 14, 2018 at 6:37 am Reply

    Jenny, wow! I cannot believe (well actually I can since you share the same DNA) how perfectly and beautifully you just wrote about Becky. Every single word is true and I’m so grateful to have a friend like her who gets me. It’s true, she really does listen and never judges. I love your title too “Everyone Should Have A A Becky”. Thank you for sharing her with all of us. I love seeing the photo of you both when Litwits was born. I love your and Becky’s passion to teach children to love literature because it truly is what will enable them to become an incredible writer is like the both of you. ?? Susie

    • Jenny Walicek

      June 14, 2018 at 8:28 am Reply

      Thank you Susie – we are both so blessed to have your friendship and affection, not to mention all your caring support. I know Becky is very very grateful to have you in her life so consistently, and we both feel like you’re a sister too! Thank you for taking the time to read and share – you’re a love and we appreciate you..

    • Becky Kimball

      June 17, 2018 at 12:08 pm Reply

      Oh dear friend, where would we be without you and all your encouragement and support? You consistently go above and beyond and your generous kindness. We are both so thankful for you!

  • Lisa Craddock

    June 14, 2018 at 8:59 pm Reply

    What a beautiful moment of sisterly love captured, and then thrown full arms out to the world in celebration, a confetti-shower of affirmation, a release of wings instantly heaven-bound.

    • Jenny Walicek

      June 16, 2018 at 12:01 pm Reply

      Thank you Lisa for this sweet comment – we’re both so blessed to have you in the sisterhood! 🙂

    • Becky Kimball

      June 17, 2018 at 12:06 pm Reply

      Lisa, that is so beautiful. Confetti-shower indeed! I’m drenched in all the love and sparkles and kindness from this past week. My heart is FULL! So incredibly thankful for you and Jenny… my bookends. 🙂

  • Nita

    June 17, 2018 at 9:07 am Reply

    Oh so true! We are all so fortunate to call her our friend.

    • Becky Kimball

      June 17, 2018 at 12:01 pm Reply

      Thank you, Nita! I’m the fortunate one, and am beyond grateful for my sweet sister and dear friends. I feel totally humbled by all these kind words!!

  • Becky Kimball

    June 17, 2018 at 12:49 pm Reply

    OH my goodness. Wow. To anyone who has not had the utterly humbling, stunning, glowing experience of waking up on your [insert big number] birthday morning to find that your sister has written a positively giddifying tribute to your existence and shared it with the ENTIRE GLOBE, let me just say it’s never-to-be-forgotten moment. What you all need to know is that it’s JENNY who makes the LitWits world go ’round, keeps me from falling to pieces on a regular basis, has been sharing her heart and wisdom and love with me for my ENTIRE life, and that if I am ever in my right mind or in a half-way decent outfit, it’s because of her. It’s no stretch to say that because of Jenny I have a home I love (long story), a business that’s truly my happy place, the courage to stick with my convictions, the confidence to be myself, a growing knowledge of random early Californian history, an obsession with trees and birds, and an inclination to add kalamata olives to most dishes :D. From day one she’s been my cheerleader — like I can do no wrong — and her selfless, generous friendship has always made me feel like I’ve for some reason been chosen by the coolest girl in school be best buds. Thank you, Jenny, for making my birthday (and my life) so unforgettably special. I love you!!!

    • Jenny Walicek

      June 17, 2018 at 3:18 pm Reply

      Oh BECKY!!! This is about YOU! but thank you and hugs from the so-NOT-coolest girl in school (in fact just the opposite) – I knew you wouldn’t be mad that I did a loose-cannon post, but I’m relieved you aren’t too embarrassed to enjoy it. Happy AhemAhemth Birthday! Here’s to another half-century of friendship and LitWits(oops did I just slip? oh well)! xoxo

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