Birthdays

“November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year,” said Margaret, standing at the window one dull afternoon, looking out at the frostbitten garden.

“That's the reason I was born in it,” observed Jo pensively, quite unconscious of the blot on her nose.

"If something very pleasant should happen now, we should think it a delightful month,” said Beth, who took a hopeful view of everything, even November.

“I dare say, but nothing pleasant ever does happen in this family,” said Meg, who was out of sorts…“My patience, how blue we are!” cried Jo…“Oh, don't I wish I could manage things for you as I do for my heroines!…I'd have some rich relation leave you a fortune unexpectedly…”

“Jo and I are going to make fortunes for you all. Just wait ten years, and see if we don't,” said Amy, who sat in a corner making mud pies, as Hannah called her little clay models of birds, fruit, and faces.

~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Like Jo March, Louisa May Alcott and her father Amos Bronson Alcott were both born in the “disagreeable month” of November. In fact, Louisa and her father shared the same birthday, November 29.

Bronson Alcott kept a daily journal of his daughters' growth and activities from the time they were born. His observations of Louisa as an infant included these comments, showing how her personality was revealed from her earliest days:

Louisa…manifests uncommon activity and force of mind at present…by force of will and practical talent, [she] realizes all that she conceives…[She has] the wild exuberance of a powerful nature ... great energy and decision of character.”

~Observations on the Life of my Second Child, by Amos Bronson Alcott

More Alcott quotes on birthdays and aging:

“It was Father’s and my birthday. We had some nice presents. Father asked us in the eve what fault troubled us most. I said my bad temper.”

~Journal of Louisa May Alcott, on her 11th birthday, 1843 (at Fruitlands)


“ Oh, may this pen your muse inspire,
When wrapt in pure poetic fire,
To write some sweet, some thrilling verse;
A song of love or sorrow's lay,
Or duty's clear but tedious way
In brighter hope rehearse.
Oh, let your strain be soft and high,
Of crosses here, of crowns beyond the sky;
Truth guide your pen, inspire your theme,
And from each note joy's music stream .”

~Poem by Louisa's mother on the occasion of Louisa's 14th birthday


“I never seem to have many presents, as some do, though I give a good many. That is best, perhaps, and makes a gift very precious when it does come.”

~Journal of Louisa May Alcott, November 29, 1868, her 36th birthday

 

“While one finds company in himself and his pursuits, he cannot feel old, no matter what his years may be.”

~Amos Bronson Alcott

 


 

More Wit and Wisdom from the Alcotts

January The New Year
February Valentine's Day
Black History Month
March Women's History Month
April The Promise of Spring
May / June Wedding Blessings, Wedded Bliss
July / August Nature and Gardens
September Education and Schools
October The Wisdom of Little Women
November Birthdays
December Christmas
 

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