You asked, take 2

11 Apr

This edition of reader Q&A is all about Jade.

My lovely friend Shannon asked:

What is the most important thing you hope to teach your child(ren)?

Ooh, good one!  There are so many things I want to teach them, of course, and what seems the most important changes depending on the circumstances, but one thing that I’ve had on my mind lately is having a positive outlook on life.  I want them to learn how to be cheerful, how to stay optimistic despite disappointments, and to minimize fruitless worrying. I don’t mean to say that we shouldn’t be realistic, or that we shouldn’t prepare for bad times… but isn’t a life of optimism a happier one than a life where one is always thinking about the next thing that could go wrong?  And worrying and pessimism take up so much useless energy that could be channelled into getting good things done!

Farley Flex was recently in Whitehorse, and I heard him speaking on this subject.  He’s an excellent speaker.  He believes that optimism is learned, but he thinks it’s learned in the first three years of life, when children feel loved and supported.  I don’t entirely agree with him; I think there’s a bigger window than three years to learn optimism, because I’m pretty sure I learned it when I was older, myself.  But the message about positive thinking and doing is exactly what I hope my kids will learn.


And now, from the very inspiration of this Q&A, the lovely and talented McMommy!

How did you come to choose Jade’s name? Was it a name you always liked? Does it have special meaning for you?

Michael and I struggled a long time to come up with names.  We didn’t know whether Jade would be a boy or a girl, so of course we had double the fun and frustration.  Sometimes we’d settle on something for a short while, only to find we’d outgrown it.  We never did decide on a boy’s name, but we agreed on “Jade Nahanni” for a girl a month or two ahead of schedule.

Michael was the one who suggested Nahanni.  It’s a beautiful river in the Northwest Territories (where we lived for the first four years of our marriage).  We rafted the South Nahanni River with Michael’s parents and some friends in the summer of 2003, starting at the world-famous Virginia Falls.  It was a wonderful trip, so the river is special to us.  But Nahanni as a name?  “Ridiculous!” I thought.  Over time, though, it grew on me, although I still wasn’t prepared to use it as a first name.

Michael went on to suggest rock names (because he loves rocks of all kinds) like Ruby and Jasper.  One day, the combination “Jade Nahanni” popped into my head.  Jade is an ornamental stone that is special to the Chinese and in fact the first part of my mom’s name means jade.  (The “Yu” in “Yu-Fang”, so my mom always calls her “Yu-Bao-Bao”.) Jade is also pretty Canadian, being the official gemstone of British Columbia.  So I liked Jade and it fit with Nahanni.  I IM-ed Micahel and asked him what he thought.  He immediately messaged back, “Love it!”  And that was that.

Whew!  Now that we’re expecting Baby #2, we’re back to square one!  Michael’s already suggested Ruby again, but having a name “series” just seems tacky to me.  Bleagh!  Besides, I’m starting to feel like this one might be a boy…

4 Responses to “You asked, take 2”

  1. McMommy April 11, 2008 at 5:08 pm #

    What a beautiful and meaningful name! I just love a good story behind a name.

    Can’t wait to hear what Baby #2 will be called!

  2. Tine April 16, 2008 at 1:52 am #

    I love your idea of a positive outlook on life as the most impotant thing to teach your children – I think that’s what I would have picked, too (that is, if I had any kids) …

    I totally agree, too, though, that you don’t neccessarily need to learn it during your first three years of life – I never learned it before I grew up !! (So I guess, there’s always hope …)

    And, by the way, I could see Baby #2 as a boy, too …

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  3. McMommy April 16, 2008 at 4:48 am #

    Stop on by….you’ve been tagged! (if you feel up to playing!)

  4. shannon April 18, 2008 at 7:35 pm #

    I feel that my answer, to my own question, would be next to impossible to answer, unless I could answer in 20 pages, and make it a top 10 list! Seriously! I almost thought you’d be mad at me for asking such a hard question… I guess its just hard for me, and like you said, you think of things all the time in the moment of certain situations!

    I often think about teaching Maggie all the stuff that nobody taught me, like “you have to love yourself before you can be successful in a relationship”, “don’t take everything so seriously all the time”, “have balance in life and activities”, “all men are pigs – especially when they’re in high school”, “trust your instincts”…. oh man, my list goes on forever!!! But I also think about teaching Maggie stuff that I myself don’t do, like limiting TV time, avoiding junk food, meditating, etc…. but how can I possibly teach her something if I can’t set the example right in her own home?

    I’ve always been optimistic, and I wonder where I got that from. I wouldn’t describe my mom as strongly one way or the other, and she’s definitely a worrier… it never even occured to me that I “learned” it, but maybe I should ask my parents about that. Ha! I can just see me asking my Dad, and his answer would involve him taking full credit and then going on a massive rant criticizing other parents for not giving positivity to their kids, at which point I would have to hold myself back from saying “Dad, by criticizing other people all the time, you’re being extremely NEGATIVE!” My Dad is pretty much 100% positive or 100% negative ALL THE TIME!!!!! So in a way, I definitely learned about being positive from him… I’ve spent the last 13 years (since moving out of my Dad’s house) trying to stop criticizing everyone all the time! And its not easy – he was such a good teacher!!!! 🙂

    Anyhoo, I totally love your answer, and it is ultimately my answer too! Its the most important thing in the big picture.

    PS: You should name your boy Jet. You’re welcome. 😉

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