I'm quick to apologize. I always have been (to most everybody but my husband, he'll most certainly say). At my last job, this guy once referred to my willingness to apologize--even for things I have no control over or wasn't ultimately responsible for--as a weakness. I've thought about that for a while. I apologize to my kids when I need to (I'm a firm believer that kids need to hear their parents apologize or how else are they going to learn to do it too?) Despite what Eric believes, I apologize to him. I try to apologize when I've done something to hurt someone else. And I always apologize when I cut someone off at Wal-Mart with my cart (and we all know how brutal Wal-Mart shopping can be).
Today I took my girls to the new McDonald's at The District, since I had coupons. The place was a madhouse. My kids were golden (seriously, I don't know how I got so lucky to have such great kids). After Bianca finished eating, she went into the "basketball court" in the play area that was laden with children. Bianca had a basketball and was throwing it up into the air. When it richocheted off the backboard and began bouncing into the other kids there, she promptly apologized to each one she came near, "Sorry, sorry, sorry." I realized my weakness had rubbed off on her.
I'm still not convinced that being willing to apologize is a weakness. Isn't it a politeness? A couple minutes later, a boy about Bianca's age came in and started throwing the ball around, knocking over toddlers like he was bowling and then bumped into Bianca. No apology, not even the turn of a head to acknowledge that he ran her over. He kept fumbling around with his ball and rolling over children like a bulldozer. This is the part where I am glad that I've instilled on my kid a weakness: I would much rather have a polite child who is overabundant in her use of the phrase "I'm sorry" than a rude kid who has never used the phrase in his life.