It’s Mother’s Day, but it’s a bit of a nonsense, really. Let’s make it Families’ Day instead and talk about The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman and Ros Asquith. Much more fun, and no need for bath salts, or dinner out in an overcrowded restaurant.
As Mary and Ros show us, a family can be anything. All you need are two people who belong together, somehow. They show us many different types of family constellations, and I’m sure there are many more.
My own, and by that I mean the one I was born into, was a two person family. Sometimes I find that any group bigger than that is pretty large. All I needed was Mother-of-witch.
Now that I ‘have the right’ to celebrate Mother’s Day (I don’t, much, though) from the opposite perspective, it feels rather unreal. Somehow I can only see mothers as an older person; not the one I am.
But one thing Mary and Ros (mainly Ros, I suppose, as it’s an illustration) have got right for our family is this lovely picture. That’s me, and – erm – someone close to me. And if the hair wasn’t wrong, it could also be me and Mother-of-witch. The spiders skipped a generation.
To stop being frivolous – although I don’t see what’s wrong with a bit of frivolity – this book is another fantastic collaboration, ready to show young readers that they are normal and everything is fine, and you don’t need to be like those others who might seem to be ‘the real thing.’ (You know, the kind of family the Government have in mind as the only acceptable life form. Which always makes me wonder what’s wrong with single people.)
Happy People’s Day! Please pass the shower gel.
(PS. I was a very good daughter. Obviously. Sometimes. I rose at dawn and went into the woods to pick a bunch of lily of the valley, before serving breakfast in bed and/or homemade dinner and nice, wobbly cake. Not all in bed, or at the same time.)