Tory and her sons, photographed by Arthur Elgort for Vogue
Bunches of hydrangeas and peonies. Breakfast in bed or hours at the brunch table. Homemade cards and macaroni necklaces. Mother’s Day is a chance to celebrate the most important women in our lives. It’s also the perfect time to think about just how smart and wise they are, how much great advice our moms have given us.

Tory has a great teacher in her mother Reva, who taught her and her brothers Robert, Jamie and Leonard not just by example but with reminders that “negativity is noise,” and that “if the cup isn’t full, add water!” As a mother to her three boys and her three stepdaughters, Tory pays all those wonderful pieces of advice forward.

We asked her what else she often says to her children. “I always tell my boys that ‘a gentleman is not a part-time job.’ I also tell them to ‘eat humble pie or don’t eat at all.’”

And wisdom has a way of making its way from generation to generation. Louisa, one of Tory’s stepdaughters, told us the greatest thing she has learned from Tory is that “family is everything.” Which is actually something that Reva said over and over to Tory growing up.

Sounds pretty good to us.

Read more features from our Mother’s Day Issues, past and present.