Julie Cole: The Baby Machine



A Happy Twist of Fate

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.

My Jessamy

Image Credit: CL Buchanan Photography