When my twin and I were born, we were expected to be Rebecca and Robert. It made sense that God would bestow a boy and a girl on our parents, since they already had two of each at home, this would make it a perfect ratio of boys and girls, our parents were thrilled. First out, butt first, Rebecca! Robust 7.4 pounds of baby girl. Five more minutes of contractions and out came a robust baby boy, Robert, feet first — oh, wait. Now what to do? Robert was 6.4 pounds of robust little girl, hmmm. The story gets murky here, but all of a sudden Rebecca turned into Beckie and Robert turned into Bonnie and a lifetime of hearing the song, “My Bonnie lies over the ocean…” or “Hey, Bonnie, where’s Clyde?” and “I love the name Bonnie, we named our dog Bonnie!” ensued. (And now I’m humming “My Bonnie lies over the ocean, which will probably stick in my ear all day long…”) Sigh.
For a long time I was just a little bit ticked off at my parents that they weren’t creative enough to go the route of Bobbi, or something cute and perky and memorable, but it is Bonnie Jeanne, and then of course the song, “Jean, Jean, roses are red…come into my arms Bonnie Jean” soon followed.
Bonnie is the kind of name you’d call your dog, but not necessarily one that would become a “family name”. Our children, by the way, have amazing names, Richard Kelly (Richard after my husband and his dad, Kelly being my maternal grandmother’s surname, and my big brother) and Bethani Kae (Kay being my aunt). Good, strong, memorable names. Names that could be handed down generation after generation, and tell a story.
I don’t see this happening with the name Bonnie, and that’s okay, and a profound apology to any other Bonnies who might be reading this who love their name, it’s just not a name that you want to hand down to some other poor kid.
When I was younger I dreamed of having the name Misty, isn’t that beautiful? Or something spunky like Gidget, or Bridget — GiGi! Something smart sounding like Carol, or Monica. Or a name like Debby, Patty or even Maureen, so I could be nicknamed, Mo. I love that to this day.
While I don’t much care for my name, I love the sound of it on people’s lips. “Bonnie” spoken lovingly by my husband. “Bon Bon” by my friends, “Aunt Bonnie” from my nieces and nephews (please never stop calling me Aunt Bonnie, I love that most of all). To hear my name spoken with love? Yes, that’s when the name Bonnie is at its most beautiful.