Big Q: What is your favorite saying or advice from mom or dad?

To celebrate parents, we asked readers for their favorite momisms and dadisms. Check out their wise, poignant, and sometimes humorous responses.

Don’t eat glue.
Bernie Rosauer
Pewaukee, Wisconsin

My dad, whose favorite color was sky-blue-pink, would admit that “life is but an empty bowl of cherries.” Then, in the same breath, he would say, “Every day’s
a holiday!” I recall him telling me that “holiday” actually came from the two words, “holy” and “day.” I remember his words and sense of humor so I can tell others to look for the sky-blue-pinks in the sunrises and sunsets of their lives and that every day is holy!

Nancy Sandberg
Nashville, Tennessee


From Mom: Whoever said life was fair?

Donna Peterson
Hutchinson, Minnesota


Sometimes you just have to do things that you don’t feel like doing.

Todd Mehrkens
Hager City, Wisconsin


You’re judged by the company you keep.

Craig Pinley
hamilton, ohio


My dad used to say, “You never have to boast about how well you’ve done. If it’s done well, others will do the boasting for you!”

Bonnie Johnson


My mother: Watch the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves.

Mike Cheek
Houston, Texas


Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do!

George Nord
Reedley, California


My grandfather: Everything has a place and a place for everything.

Sue Garland

Spring Valley, California


My mom, Adele Cole, had so many what we liked to call “Adele-isms” that we made a memory board of them for her funeral in 2007. She was a very lively, witty person, a loving, devoted hospice chaplain—and the third woman ordained by the Covenant Church. Here are a few:

“Put on a sweater, you’re making me cold.”

“Save your cigarette money.” (Her encouragement not to take up smoking!)

“Here’s your coat, there’s the door, what’s your hurry?”

“I love work, I could watch it all day.”

“It was one wild basket social after another!” (She
said this when her social calendar had been quite full.)

And this was one she picked up along the way to describe men she admired (even though she wasn’t much into whiskey!): “He’s a gentleman, a scholar,
and a judge of fine whiskey.”

Cyd Johnson
bloomington, minnesota


If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.

Kathy P. Brawley
new paris, ohio


If you do it fast enough, you’ll have time to do it again. (Take your time and do it right the first time.)

Karen L. Landin
Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania


Favorite dadism, which I now say to our grandchildren when they return to college after time at home: Be safe, study hard, and have fun—in that order!

Margaret Larson
Two Harbors, Minnesota


Early in my life my mother said to my brothers and me: “There is nothing you boys could ever do that would make me stop loving you.” It turned out her father had said the same thing to her family in the midst of a particularly difficult experience they faced together back in the 1940s. My mom’s words, in turn, have shaped how I understand and appreciate God’s love for us—that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. I have always figured that if my mom can love me no matter what, God certainly loves me even bigger!

Dan Johnson
Hilmar, California


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5 Comments

  1. My dad always says “If people are sitting around, they want to play a game.” (This is not always true, sometimes people just want to talk, but when I am sitting around with friends, I always think about suggesting a game!

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