Anna Quindlen - Still Life with Bread Crumbs
Photo: Todd Plitt/ Contour By Getty Images
1. Teachers rule the world.
There's nothing more powerful when you're a kid than having the influential people in your life tell you you're good at something. If I had it my way, teachers would be paid a fortune.

2. Chocolate is a food group. Pie, too.
Yeah, I get it that kale and salmon are good for us, but the Italian part of me says eating is supposed to be joyful (at least some of the time). There's good reason for marking birthdays and weddings with cake, so have some!

3. Motherhood is not a test.
I wasted years asking, Am I doing this right? But right is careful. Love cut liberally with fun—that's the ticket. You want a kitchen sink full of pans and flour spread over the counter from making cookies, and memories. And who cares how the cookies turned out?

4. I can't get by without my friends.
I often hear brides say their groom is their best friend. Really? My husband is my husband. My best friend is someone who has the patience to listen to a monologue about the heinously expensive purse I want. When I'm falling, my girlfriends are my soft landing.

5 The best things take effort.
With all our talk about God-given gifts, we've convinced a generation of kids that if you're good at something, it must be effortless. That's so, so wrong. The best work is a slog. Then you reach the summit, take a breath, and say, Well, that wasn't easy, but here I am.

What They Know For Sure


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