The Tragic Optimist

About Ann

Ann’s blogs:

  • Tragic Optimist: A librarian takes on infertility, parenting, gardening, food, and anything else that comes my way
  • Little Four Eyes: Talking about young kids and glasses and vision problems
  • Ann the Librarian: (no longer updated, merged with Tragic Optimist) Adventures in too much information

About the Tragic Optimist

It turns out that for us, there is life after infertility, and her name, fittingly enough, is Zoe. This blog was started when I became pregnant after 2 years of trying, and many medical interventions. The best summary of those 2 years is probably this post. We have since had a second daughter, Hazel, born almost 4 years to the day after her sister.  We have no plans to have more children.  This blog is now mostly devoted to thoughts about my life, gardening, parenting, with some thoughts on what it means to parent after infertility.

like mother like daughter

like mother like daughter

Little Four Eyes: Zoe was diagnosed with accommodative esotropia, that is crossed-eyes due to being farsighted, at 9 months.  She has been wearing glasses since the end of 2007.   I did my librarian obsessive searching for information for parents of toddlers with glasses, and came up with very little that was not specifically medical in nature or geared towards older kids.  I just wanted a way to talk about the day to day challenges and joys of parenting a young kid with expensive, breakable gear on their faces.  So I started the Little Four Eyes blog as a way to connect with others who have young children with glasses or other vision problems, and as a way to get information out there for other parents going through the same thing.

Why “Tragic Optimist”?

I have a comic strip, clipped from the paper, from years ago in which a boy is talking with his friend. His friend asks if he’s done his homework. No, he replies, but maybe that’s ok, maybe it was all just a test to see if he really is independent and willing to think for himself, and if so, he’s just passed that test and bound to get an A. “You really are a tragic optimist, aren’t you?” replies his friend. The concept of one so optimistic as to border on tragic really struck home with me. Later, as we battled with infertility, it seemed even more apropos. So many months, even when I wasn’t ovulating on my own, I would take my temperature, see a slight rise, and start to calculate – if that was ovulation, and I did get pregnant, when would I get a positive test? And when would I tell my supervisor at work? When would I be due, and what kinds of clothes would we have to buy for the baby? . . . You get the idea. A tragic dose of optimism is still tragic.


  1. momerabilia

    I’m glad you found me! It looks like we have a lot in common. Sometimes I forget that people outside my circle actually read my blog.:)

    BTW: Although we started out using Patch Pals, we’ve since moved to the Framehuggers patches. They are really great. My daughter isn’t able to peek over the top of them, and she can’t take them off herself. They are also made to the specific dimensions of the glasses, so they fit much better.

  2. Jess


    I’m making an informational DVD for parents and carers of young children and I need a photo of a child with an eye patch. I was wondering if I could use your photo of your daughter?

  3. Chelsea Hurst

    Ann, so glad you found my blog. Read today’s post to see updates. (Lasik postponed.) Feel free to email me if you want more info. It sounds like you’ve done your homework and you’re pretty educated. It took a long time for me to be able to put into words my eye issues. I’m sure your daughter will be the same way, so if you ever have any questions about anything, you’re welcome to ask. I’m 24 now and just now starting therapy. I’m anxious and excited to see what can happen!! It sounds like your daughter is a lot like me.

  4. Dear Ann the Librarian

    Pardon my tracking you back to your blog.

    In surfing the net I accidently stumbled upon an August 21, 2008 blog by Mark Stoneman, and your follow-up comment in which you said:

    “As an aside, my good friends live in DC and were recently bemoaning the fact that there were such long wait-lists to even get in on a CSA, so it sounds like you’ve got a good thing going.”

    If your DC friends are still seeking a CSA membership, a friend of mine, Allan Balliett runs the Fresh and Local CSA out of West Virginia which serves NW metro DC and is seeking additional shareholders.



  5. I am Randy Kazandy. Please visit my site and play some free games at They are designed to strengthen your eyes. I too needed glasses at 17 months old. I didn’t like them at first but with the help of my parents I love them now. I love being me! With your new glasses on, you may find the hidden glasses in my new book Randy Kazandy, Where Are Your Glasses? They are in the funniest places. I love being me! You can love being you, too!

  6. Karen Alley

    Randy Kazandy, Where Are Your Glasses is a dose of a good thing. Kids that I read the book to want to hear it over and over again. I think it is the rhyme that attracts them. We talk about Randy and how he didn’t like his glasses as so many kids don’t and how he learns to love his glasses at the end. Just loving words from his dad, “Look at my glasses, they’re new, Now I will look a bit more like you” So precious and heartfelt. The book is the favorite in our home. Bravo for Randy Kazandy!

  7. Ann, thank you for commenting at my Healing Salon. I commented on your question about what I meant about forgetting. And I’m so glad to meet another librarian (even though I’m not working in a library)!

  8. Could I send you an email?

  9. Hi

    I’m making an informational website for parents and carers of young children and I need a photo of a child with an eye patch. I was wondering if I could use your photo of your daughter?

  10. Every life has stories. It is good when stories are shared to help ourselves and others continue down life’s path.

  11. Michelle

    Hi my son has +10 prescription in both and retina problems hadn’t developed. I’m worried he’s going to b blind as a young adult could u help resume me

  12. padma

    Very helpful blog dear Ann

  13. Leli

    Hi Ann. My 4 and half years old son has a prescription +5.00 and +4.00 .the doctor said he has a lazy eye but I started to do exercise to him and when I ask him he answer correctly. And his eyes are not crossed .when I patch his good eye in the beginning he has little bit hard time to see but after 2 or 3 minutes he starts to see OK. Can you tell me if he will need the glasses for the rest of his life?

  14. zahid

    H R U


  1. moved « Ann the Librarian
  2. Awards to award! Plus, a bonus rant stream of conciousness. « Infertility Rocks!

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