I was having some fun on Twitter chatting with some other mamas about how we came up with our kids’ names.
I told my friend, Emma Waverman, about my daughter Jessamy, who shares her name with a character in a children’s novel. Wikipedia describes the book thus: “Jessamy (1967) by Barbara Sleigh is a children's book that sheds light on English life during World War I through a time slip narrative.”
Emma was intrigued and found it curious that a children’s novel involving a fascinating little girl and time travel had gotten past her. She did an amazon.com search and found what turned out to be a chilling couple of reviews. The first was written by a woman named Lisa Rogers in 2001:
"I read this book from the library at the age of 10 or 11, I am now 39 and I re-read it every year after I actually got/owned the book when I was 19 (I didn't forget about this book all through the years). It was the first time-travel book I had ever read. Jessamy, an orphan, that lives between aunts goes from 1967 (I think because that was the copywright date of the book) back to 1914 and is suddenly a shy, quiet Jessamy living with a family as a servants niece. The 1967 Jessamy is not shy or quiet and people notice although they don't know why she changes. It is assumed that the 1914 Jessamy goes forward in time although it is not talked much about in the book. (I think that might be a good sequel). There is a mystery and it is solved at the end. My daughter (Jessamy) is now 10. I am going to have her read it this summer. I really enjoyed that book. I have read lots of better written books since then but the time-travel and the name Jessamy really held my interest. The ending is very cool and kind of strange."
Sit down for this one. It was by Lisa’s daughter, Jessamy, written in 2007:
"Hi i'm Jessamy! Lisa Rogers is my mom. She passed away in 2004. I'm 16 now and I have a school project to find the meaning to my name and when I typed it into google it came up with this review. I was in shock to see that my mom had written something. I sat there staring at her words and cried. I miss her a ton and she was a great mom."
There were a few comments on Jessamy’s review, and one perfectly summed up how I felt:
"Undoubtedly the most awesome thing I've ever found on Amazon.com."
How appropriate that the book is about time travel, since the words of a mother did just that – reached out through the years and touched her daughter. Suddenly, my daughter’s name seems even more meaningful.
Image Credit: CL Buchanan Photography"
Being a good neighbour is really important to me for various reasons.
First off, it comes easily - I’m chatty and ridiculously friendly. My children often apologize to people we meet, saying things like “Sorry about her, she talks to everyone!” When out for walks, I always make eye contact and greet passersby. When new neighbours move in, a little something is invariably dropped off. We welcome neighbourhood kids into our pool and love having them pile on the trampoline. Local parents have an online group and I keep the list updated and post news on our very own neighbourhood Facebook page.
Other than being friendly because it’s fun and feels good, there is another reason I am a good neighbour – it keeps my children safe. Knowing so many people in the neighbourhood means there are eyes all over this place watching out for my guys.
I like my kiddos to be outside and have no desire to follow them around on their bikes, rollerblades or adventures in the forest in a bid to keep them “safe”. Their latest activity is sneaking into the local golf course to find golf balls, polishing them up and selling them back to the golfers. Somehow my participation in that activity might cramp their style and break their entrepreneurial spirits. Besides, I gave up hawking golf balls back in 1986.
Childhood is a time for exploring, and I want my kids to do that freely without me hovering around making sure that they are OK all of the time. In fact, I want them to face tricky situations and figure out what to do. The reason they don’t have a cell phone is because I don’t want them calling me every time a kid falls off a bike or gets stuck up a tree. I want them to solve problems the old-fashioned way. Remember when you had to rely on someone other than your mom to bail you out or rescue you? Remember when you counted on your siblings, friends or a kind neighbour? Remember when your mother did her kiddo head count when the street lights came on? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
So be a good neighbour. Make yours a family of friendly and familiar faces so that your kids are recognizable to the people they live among. It brings me great peace of mind knowing that folks are keeping an eye out for my kiddos while I keep an eye out for theirs. It’s just what neighbours do.
Bunch of the local girlies playing hockey at a neighbour’s backyard rink."