For a while now, Frank Bruni has been using his New York Times column to write what are essentially Hallmark Cards. "As good as we humans are at division, we’re better still at connection," Bruni recently informed his readers. Sunday's column, however, managed to plumb new depths. Bruni wrote a piece entirely about the value of...yes, family. For those who have not read it, I have chosen my four favorite quotes. I have also chosen my four favorite quotes from a piece on the website of Focus on the Family, the rightwing religious group founded by James Dobson. See if you can spot which quotes belong to Bruni. Answers are at the end.
1. "A family can pass its painstakingly nurtured closeness down through the generations."
2. "Busyness can make it difficult for parents to savor life's ordinary moments. But it is precisely those moments that your children will treasure forever."
3. "Grandpa took Leslie to a Waffle House on the first day of their drive and then again on the second. They share, along with genes, an affinity for breakfast foods and carbohydrates.They don’t share musical tastes, so for most of their trip, they left the radio off and just talked, treating the highway as memory lane."
4. "Your daughter mentions her 10th birthday. You assume she will rave about the beautiful cake and Sparkles' funny balloon animals, but instead she recalls how much fun it was to ride in the van with you to pick up doughnuts for breakfast."
5. "Carve out space for family no matter what...put relatives at the head of the line....find gestures large and small."
6. "Not all happy families are alike. But all happy families...have this in common: Their bond is forged not by accident but by intent."
7. "Most children find just as much, or even more, joy in the little things as they do in life's big events."
8. "Everyday interactions may be more meaningful than many parents realize."
Answers: Bruni is 1, 3, 5, and 6