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Mom Always Said...

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Faye Tucker

Faye Tucker, who turns 105 this June, has refused to buy green bananas for many years, rationalizing that she doesn't know for sure if she'll be around by the time they ripen. (Photo: hartphoto.com)

In the spirit of Mother’s Day, we’re paying tribute to the sage advice our moms always seem to have at the ready. Because for all the advice we didn’t want to hear (“Brush your hair!”), the years of making sure we did our homework and cleaned our rooms (before we did anything else), and the words of wisdom we could have done without (my mom told me recently in a very helpful tone that the brown eye shadow I was wearing made me look tired – I don’t wear eye shadow), moms tend to have a few years and a lot of first-hand experience on their side. It just sometimes takes their children a while to figure that out.

So grab a pencil, take notes, and remember: Mom’s usually right.

“Don’t buy green bananas because you don’t know if you’ll be around when they get ripe.” – Brian Atlas, quoting his grandmother Faye Tucker, a 104-year-old mother of two, grandmother of four, great-grandmother of 10, and great-great-grandmother of five.

“Nothing good happens after midnight.” – Jackie McGreevy, who remembers her mom’s wisdom and says, “True then, true today, and still will be true for my kids.”

“You always want to soar with the eagles and not hang out with the buzzards.” – Anita Smith, stepmother of Marcus Smith.

“Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it.” – Karen Reichek, mom of Tracy Kapiloff.

“Do the best you can, even if it is not the best you know how.” – Jacqueline Kenneally’s mom. Jacqueline, a mom of three boys, clarifies, “We know what the books tell us to do, but in the real moments with our loved ones, we have to be comfortable that we might only be able to do the best we can, and that is usually good enough.”

“Be cooperative and appreciative.” – Jeryl Golub, mom of Orly, 13, Olivia, 10, and Ascher, 6.

“My mom, who married my dad when she was 16 and he was 21, always said there are “Five As” to a happy marriage: affection, attraction, appreciation, attention and amorous. I’ve practiced her wisdom, and it’s helped me in my own 41 years of marriage.” – Tami Ciarella

“Be careful – the toes you step on today may be attached to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.” – Diana Brackman, mom of Adam Brackman and Lauren Berger and grandmother of Ryan, 2, and Sarah, 3 months, who used to tape this quote to her fridge when her kids were teenagers.

“Hard work pays off.” – the advice Jake Totz, 11, thinks of when he thinks of his mom Alberta.

“He who hoots with the owls can’t soar with the eagles.” – Susanne Sullivan, mom of two girls, three boys and 10 grandchildren. Kelley, her oldest daughter, explains: “She means don’t stay out too late and have too much fun if you want to be successful – doesn’t that sound like a mom?”

“Have you practiced piano? Have you walked the dog? Have you told your mom that you love her?” – Tracy Pesikoff, mom of Jonah, 11, and Lily, 8.

Michael, Mack, Brooke and William Halverson

Michael, Mack, Brooke and William Halverson (from left) share lots of "I love yous," which Mack says is his favorite quote from his mom. (Photo: hartphoto.com)

“Be careful. You never know who’s sitting in the booth next to you.” – Karen Edelman’s nana, who would say this while glancing over her shoulder to catch a glimpse of the person sitting behind her, just to be sure no one she knew would overhear.

“Give your children strong roots and big wings!” – Penny Butler, mom of Kissy Blanchat, Bo Butler, Scott Butler, Gretchen Jenkins, Heidi Prince, Bridget Wade and many grandchildren.

“Don’t overreact. Think things through before acting on any situation.” – Sheila Sack, mom of Danielle Kuperman, David Sack and Daryl Epstein.

“It’s okay if it doesn’t match as long as it ‘goes.’” – Phyllis Selber, mom of Sandy Strum.

“Nothing is too small to celebrate.” – Adele Buchman, mom of Jason Buchman, who says, “As I look back on our brief and frequent ceremonies celebrating milestones as little as finding all the matching socks in the laundry, I realize it’s hard to be in a bad mood when you’re celebrating, even though sometimes I had no idea what we were celebrating.”

“Show up!” – Sandra Seinsheimer, mom of Kate Lykes and Matt Seinsheimer.

“Always have a dime in your purse when you leave the house (for emergency calls).” – Elisa Brodbeck, mom of Ana Schick.

“I love you!” – 9-year-old Mack Halverson’s favorite quote from his mom Brooke, who is also mom to Michael, 11, and William, 7.

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