"The truth is that laughing with my kids is my favorite part of parenting. I honestly think I feel more intimately connected to them when we're making that post crack-up "ahhh" noise than at almost any other time. If you don't get stupid with your children on a regular basis, I encourage you to try it."

"My son, Sam, started kindergarten this year. I couldn’t have dreaded it more. I’ve actually been dreading it we took Sam to kindergarten roundup in the spring. Back then, I reassured myself, 'I’ve got all spring and summer with him. It’ll go slow.'

"Boy was I wrong. Of course it didn’t go slow. In fact, the day crept up on me so fast that we went school supply shopping two days before school started.

"Despite my fears, the big first day went great even if it was a little confusing at first."

"Where I went wrong was assuming that, if my children ever faced a bully, it would be obvious. I figured they would immediately be able to spot a bully because that person would be overtly mean and threatening; they'd act in a way that was completely contrary to how my children have been taught to behave.

"What I didn't anticipate or prepare myself and my children for was what to do when the bully is your best friend."

"Several years ago, I was on a Southwest flight to Los Angeles and was sitting next to a very loud, intoxicated businessman. To a closeted introvert, he was my worst nightmare realized.

"In an effort to get him to stop talking to me, I pulled out my laptop and started randomly typing. He leaned in and asked what I did for a living. When I told him I was a humor writer, he lit up as if he had an idea.

"'I know Cindy Chupack. Do you know of her?' I shook my head no and pretended to type important words.

"'She’s one of the main writers and executive producers of 'Sex and the City.' I met her on my vacation. I’ll email her and introduce you.'

"I lit up, but also got embarrassed. If there’s one thing I know, highly successful people in show biz don’t love random dudes they met on their honeymoon to give their email out to annoyed women on planes.

"I called his bluff: 'Okay, do it. Email her.'"

"'Now?'

"To my shock, he did. And to my even greater shock, Cindy wrote me back."