On the glory of Mum, as told by Shirley Hughes

She’s harried. There may be scant reference to the world of (paid) work in Hughes’ storybook world but make no mistake about it: these mums are jugglers.

She’s bedraggled. Tendrils of hair hang limply as she stirs a pot. There’s never time to iron anything. Her bags are always too full.

Her houses look like home to me, their cosy tangle of toys and wellies and books pulling me powerfully back to my own childhood, while at the same time mirroring the clutter that lingers in corners of mine and my daughter’s house.

She’s utterly at the beck and call of her kids. And that’s exactly as it should be.

But she also has style. In spades. In Dogger, Dave’s mum is the one wearing flairs – accessorised with wedges and a headscarf no less – while all the other mothers are wafting around in skirts.

She’s fun. She’s always game for dreaming up a fresh adventure. And an ice cream isn’t out of the question, either.

She’s really ready for that cup of tea.

And those few moments she’s snatching with a book in Mother’s Day? She’s really making them count.

Ladies, Shirley Hughes is one of us.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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