Eternal optimism.

I'm a pessimist of the worst kind.

Not only do I assume the worst will likely happen, I often expend a great deal of energy and time and resources going through all the potential worst case scenarios in my mind about any given topic.

R tells me all the time that worst case scenarios are my superpower.

Let me assure you, it's hard work being this negative all the time.  

Zachary is just like me, to the tenth power. I secretly call him Eeyore.  If he had a clue what that meant, I'm sure it would make him grumpy just like everything else does. 

And then there's Cooper. 

He was a ridiculously happy baby who turned into a happy toddler and is now a happy preschooler.  Sometimes R and I discuss this with a sense of awe and wonderment, and then we (as we are prone to do) just assume it won't last, because how could an optimist survive in a house full of pessimists? 

Yet he continues to prove us wrong, over and over.

Let me give you an example.  For as many years as I can remember, there has been a McDonald's that we drive past almost daily.  It was one of those designed in the early 80s with the indoor playground, and it (much to my dismay) has always been the boys' favorite place to eat because - HELLO! - giant slides filled with old french fries and unimaginable germs are the absolute best!  Anyway, one day we drove by and it was just... gone.  Completely.  Overnight, it had been torn down and replaced with a giant sign that said "CLOSD (sic) FOR REBUILD." 

Zachary said "Oh man! Our McDonald's is gone! That stinks! We'll never get to eat there again!" Then Cooper said "They will put a new McDonald's there!  It will be better than the last one!"

I withheld judgement.

Every day we would drive past it, and it became a topic of heated debate in our car. 

"I bet the new McDonald's will have an awesome new playground!" Cooper would speculate every single day.  

I tried to let him down easy.  "Honey, I don't think they will rebuild the playground," I said gently. "I think this McDonald's will only have places to sit and eat."

"No," he said, every single time.  "It will have a playground."  He was so certain about it, because what good is processed chicken product without a sliding board?  

Every day that we drove by and saw the new store being built, he would speculate and dream about how awesome the new playground at the new McDonald's would be.  As the walls started to go up and I could tell with absolute certainty that this building would not house a new playground, I tried to become more matter of fact with Cooper. "See?" I would say as we drove by.  "There's no space for a playground there.  The new McDonald's won't have a playground."

"Oh, I think it will," Cooper answered.  Every. Single. Time.

Even after the roof and windows and everything else had been installed, and you could see without a shadow of a doubt that there was no playground, Cooper held strong.  "Maybe it's around back!"  he said. 

The store reopened with little fanfare, and both the boys kept clamoring to go there.  I really try to avoid McDonald's at all costs, but finally I gave in and after we walked in and exclaimed over the new chairs - so colorful! and the new lights - how cool! and sat down to eat, I asked Cooper, "Are you terribly disappointed that there's no playground here?"

He looked at me with a look that I can only describe as pity, then he said, "Oh, Mama, it's ok.  They just haven't built it YET."

Keep on believing, kid.  The world needs more people like you.

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