The Tragic Optimist

love’s leeway

There’ nothing like having a toddler who imitaes you to see clearly your own shortcomings.  Today at dinner Chris burped at the dinner table, Zoe laughed and immediately tried to immitate the sound, “errrp, braaap, bwerrp.”  I tried to stifle my laugh and tried to explain why we say “excuse me” after burping.  Chris stifled his own laughs and apologized for not being the best model.

It gets me thinking.  I’ve never bought the sentimental crap that love means never having to say you’re sorry.  If anything, love means being more willing to say – and mean – you’re sorry, rather than getting defensive or make excuses.  Love does, however, provide a bit of leeway when it comes to remembering to say “excuse me” after certain bodily functions.



  1. 1) Ha!
    2) When S was about Z’s age, maybe a titch younger, she belched at the dinner table one time. M said, “S, what do you say when you burp?” She looked him dead in the eye and said, “Urp!”

    Somehow we managed to convey that he MEANT that she should say “excuse me” in between our fits of uncontrollable laughter.

  2. What a good thought! Very true!

  3. haha! very true, very insightful thought 🙂

  4. What a priceless moment! Thanks for stopping by my blog; I get so excited when I stumble upon other librarians virtually. 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog (your daughter is adorable!).

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