Seconda's learning about birds in school and had a homework assignment in which she had to write about the morning dove.
She did it. But she spelled it "mourning dove."
"I'm concerned about Seconda," I told David, "Why would she automatically opt for mourning instead of morning? That seems so bleak and macabre."
"Are you sure that's not how it's spelled?" he asked me.
"I mean, I doubt it. Birds sing in the morning. They wake you with their cheerful chirps. Birds are optimistic."
And then I googled it and Seconda was totally right.
What kind of a doom-and-gloomer named that animal?
I was relieved, though, for several reasons. A: My daughter's paying a decent amount of attention during Bird Study. B. One less piece of evidence that she is bleak and macabre. And C: I think I may be a genuine optimistic myself, to have assumed the dove would have a cheerful, hopeful name. Of course, I'm the most neurotic genuine optimistic that ever lived. But still . . .
Nicole is a parenting writer who contributes essays and articles for magazines like Parenting, Parents, American Baby and Babble. She lives in Brooklyn with three children, one husband and a morbidly obese goldfish.