And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.
I saw a girl from a lonely street
Cold as ice cream but still as sweet
Dry your eyes, Sunday Girl
I was born on a Sunday a long time ago. According to the old poem, that makes me bonny and blithe. When I was a little girl, I think that was very true. I was a cute little girl with a cheerful disposition. Cheerfully prone to stubbornness, if I’m completely honest. I may have been cheerful, but I was born with a firm conviction of my own intelligence. I was pretty sure I was always right about everything.
When I was 4 or 5, I remember the extended family going on a trip to Diamond Lake. We were staying in a cabin, and I would skip around all day, usually singing. My grandmother pointed out two things to my mother:
1. I had a very true singing voice for such a little girl.
2. It was very inappropriate for me to be singing songs from the musical “Hair” at my age. (I really liked the song “Ain’t Got No” at the time. Especially the part that went “ain’t got no underwear.”)
It is unfortunate that I don’t remember how my mother replied to the implied criticism about her letting me listen to “Hair.” We also had the soundtrack to “Mary Poppins” which I liked nearly as well, and “Hard Days Night” by the Beatles. Sonny and Cher. I sang along to all of it. I’m sure my mother bit her tongue and refrained from telling my grandmother her thoughts on the subject. Ma has always been diplomatic when required.
I remember being a very happy child. Smiling. Laughing. Singing. Reading. My one big disappointment was when they wouldn’t let me start first grade when I was 5. The cutoff to start first grade was to turn 6 by November 15, and my birthday is on the 17th. I cried all the way home, and could not understand why they didn’t want me. I don’t think I really understood the idea of a deadline, all I knew is that I already knew how to read, and I belonged in school. I had been looking forward to going to school for as long as I could remember. School was where I was going to really start learning things. I just knew it.
As it happens, I was pretty wrong about that.
Still, I was probably skipping and singing again before long. I still had books to read, and pictures to draw. Horses to pet. Chickens to feed. A little brother to tease. Things to be right about.
Finally, when I got to go to school, it was a little disappointing. The teachers quickly figured out that I didn’t need them, and focused their attention on the kids that didn’t already know how to read.
I was still fairly bonny, but got less and less blithe as time went on.
Eventually the smile did come back again.
Now I’m a little less bonny.
I guess you don’t get to be both as an adult over 50.
Ach, well. I’ll take blithe over bonny any time. Especially since it’s not like I’m nae bonny at all. I’m still moderately bonny.
Is that a thing?