Simply put, I believe that people matter. I try not to lose sight of this all-important tenet as I churn out my column each week, taking the pulse of the community with every keystroke. And the rewards I’ve received to date have been nothing short of extraordinary. In all honesty, I am humbled by your words of praise and encouragement, moved by the personal stories that you so willingly share and thankful for the strange and wonderful gifts so many of you have bestowed upon me—the clever poems, the heartfelt emails and letters, the celebrated blue marble (because of the ever-present danger of losing my precious cache!), the greatly revered and highly inflatable Walter, the Farting Dog (for the kidlets’ bedroom ceiling, of course), the much-adored Anna Quindlen book, the wealth of advice (some of which was good), the sinfully delicious bottles of wine, the endless fodder for future articles and the sweet validation for doing what I do. And although I much prefer admiration, I remain open to criticism, as well, weaving each nugget of feedback (both brilliant and brutal) into the tapestry of my yet-to-be-created work.