Sunbonnet Style

by Mary

At the catholic school that I work at I see hats. Lots and lots of hats. For I am a Wisconsin resident which means that even in late March one still needs to cover his or her ears more often times than not. Blah! Typically, kids playing on the playground during outdoor recess wear black hats, or hats with penguins or flowers…you get my drift.

But a few weeks ago out came Little Claire  (not my sister, but my niece), who I have adored since the hot July day she was born nearly 7 years ago, wearing a sunbonnet. Yup, that’s right. No penguins or flowered patterns for her. A big floppy sunbonnet with red flowers that completely contrasted with her hot pink jacket was her self created genius 6 year old look.

Memories came to me as I looked at her in amusement, taking me back to my own childhood. She reminded me of a photo we have buried somewhere in a crammed tin can of old, old pictures. In the photo Kate, Colleen and I are standing in front of the woodstove. Like Little Claire, Kate’s imagination was busy at work. She had us dressed in frumpy dresses and we have head coverings over our hair. I would like to think that the white material on our hair is muslin or cheesecloth, but I am afraid that it most likely is cloth dipers. I am relieved that unlike our niece, we were all homeschooled at this point, thus meaning that “our look” remained more of a secret than my nieces, though Kate did manage to publicize the look through creating a photo shoot session.

I guess you could say that Little Claire has a bit of her Aunty Kate’s blood in her. I am grateful to be in a family of strong girls and women who cherish and uphold unique individuality….even if it means freezing ones ears off in a sunbonnet or wearing cloth diapers on your head.

1 thought on “Sunbonnet Style

  1. Kate

    I vividly remember that photo shoot, and my motivation. We had been visiting our Amish friends a lot, and I wanted to try out being Amish. I braided our hair and put it up around our head before tying on the head coverings. I suppose taking pictures, which the Amish are forbidden to do, was not really in keeping with my day as a plain person.


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