Our cousin Chelsea recently returned to D.C. after working abroad for several years. We're so glad she's back -- we love her adorably bilingual kids, her sassy Scandinavian-flavored fashion sense, and her knack for one-of-a-kind party games that are fun and help you feel smart, (among other attributes, of course).
Last night at Mimo's house, Chelsea busted out this little play on delightful quotes about motherhood. It was so perfect, I had to share -- you can pin it for next year, or your mom's birthday, or that day next week when your kids have colored on the walls and on the sofa and on each other with a turquoise Sharpie and you're wondering why you even bother. I promise it will make you smile....
Mother's Day Trivia GameTest your knowledge of literary and historical figures as you learn what they had to say about mothers and motherhood!
How to play: Each player gets one point for a correct answer. Bonus points are given where indicated. The player with the most points wins (note: it might be a good idea to let mothers/grandmothers win, as it is their special day). Enjoy!
This Harvard man, who wrote a famous essay described by some as "America's Intellectual Declaration of Independence," once said, "Men are what their mothers made them."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
This well-respected U.S. President paid homage to his mother by saying, "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
This 19th century British poet, who was married to another famous poet of the time, has been quoted as saying, "Motherhood: All love begins and ends there."
This original "Iron Lady" - only the third woman ever to become Prime Minister or the equivalent - summed up motherhood this way: "Women's liberation is just a lot of foolishness. It's the men who are discriminated against. They can't bear children. And no one's likely to do anything about that."
"A mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled" - so wrote one of the most famous female poets of the 19th century, though scholars speculate that her relationship with her own mother was lacking in warmth and affection. Perhaps this helps explain the poet's eccentricities, such as her well-known reluctance to leave her room…ever.
This revered French writer whose work was recently the subject of an acclaimed motion picture wrote, "A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them."
This Irish author might have been using his famous "stream of consciousness" technique when he wrote, "Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world, a mother's love is not."
Perhaps the most touching poetic ode to mothers came from a British writer who spent much of his life in India, where many of his most famous works are set. Name the poet and finish the stanza:
If was damned of body and soul,
I know whose prayers would make me whole…
-(Mother o' mine, mother o' mine) by Rudyard Kipling
This author, who created some of the best-loved characters of mischievous young boys in American literature, said of his own mother, "[She] had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it." He also described his mother as having "a slender, small body, but a large heart - a heart so large that everybody's joys found welcome in it and hospitable accommodation."
Bonus point for real name - Samuel Langhorn Clemens
This 19th century French novelist and playwright, who once proclaimed "I am about to become a genius!" also wrote, "The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness."
-Honoré de Balzac
This cheeky Irish playwright wrote the following in a delightful play that has the less well-known subtitle of A Trivial Comedy for Serious People: "All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his."
-Oscar Wilde in The Importance of Being Earnest
This Victorian era author may have hidden behind a pen name, but wasn't shy when it came to sharing that, "Life began with waking up and loving my mother's face."
Bonus point for real name - Mary Anne Evans
It's hard to know how much stock we should put in the words of an author who wrote, "Mothers are all slightly insane," seeing as he became a recluse in New Hampshire after writing one definitive novel. Sounds a bit insane, himself!
This American poet, the wife of a famous aviator, had an impressive mother who was a poet, herself, and served as a college president. Perhaps it was this example that prompted her daughter to write, "By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class."
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh
See if you can guess which poet penned this line, just from his distinctive style, which the New York Times referred to as "droll verse":
“I hope my tongue in prune juice smothers, If I belittle dogs and mothers.”
Though her own mother died when she was only five, this writer and abolitionist still felt that, "Most mothers are instinctive philosophers."
-Harriet Beecher Stowe
A contemporary of Emerson's, this physician-poet wrote, "The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men - from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes
This Greek philosopher was surprisingly un-philosophical when it came to describing a mother's love. He wrote, "Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own."
Perhaps this diminutive man had his mother to thank for making him believe he could conquer the world. After all, he did say, "The future destiny of a child is always the work of the mother."
Described as the "black woman's poet laureate," this civil rights leader and author said describing her own mother "would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power."
Finish this quote from one of the world's most famous artists and a co-founder of the Cubist movement: "My mother said to me, 'If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.' Instead, I was a painter, and became ___________.'"
This New England poet laureate and four-time Pulitzer Prize-winner wrote, perceptively, "A mother takes twenty years to make a man of her boy, and another woman makes a fool of him in twenty minutes."
Which general turned president not only called his mother "the most beautiful woman I ever saw", but also said, "I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her"?
This 19th century American author created one of America's best loved and most revered mother characters in her most famous novel, loosely based on growing up with her own three sisters. She wrote of mothers, "What do girls do who haven't any mothers to help them through their troubles?"
-Louisa May Alcott