It’s Mother’s Day! Cue a long sweaty afternoon muscling through crowds of shoppers, trying to find a card amongst all the overpriced pink saccharin that isn’t a) vomit-inducing, b) disrespectful and demeaning or c) just plain rude. The flower stall on the market was transformed into a rugby scrum – no bunch too pricey! At least three shop assistants tried to sell me seashell-shaped confectionery at the till: what is it with the current trend for till-side selling, when all I want to do is pay and get the hell out, not ponder over cut-priced novelty chocolates?

Sorry. I really don’t like shopping, let alone at such an emotionally charged time of the year. We all know that Mother’s Day is just another opportunity for the retail machine to grind into action and make more money, but my little heart still goes a-flutter at the thought of a special day celebrating my role as a mother. I still have the cards my daughter made for me at nursery school, and even though she was trawling round the shops with me today looking most un-childlike in her mini-skirt, swinging a designer tote, I still like that she is buying me something special.

Some time ago, she asked me “Do you still want something on Mother’s Day? Or should I do Father’s Day stuff for you instead?” Though I laughed and told her to stick to Mother’s Day, I was mortified. The sensible part of me may know that I will never lose the specialness of being a mother, but the terribly scared part worries that as I transition, the core meaning of being a mother will be lost behind the perceived ridiculousness of a man being called Mum. The way the outside world sees me and perceives me is changing, and it is very hard to cement my role as a mother whilst also trying to define myself as a man.

My daughter has already given me my card – I haven’t opened it yet as Mother’s Day doesn’t start for another hour. The envelope is addressed to Mark. Both of us are clearly working hard to make the most of our redefined relationship. I hope that whatever craziness is yet to come in our lives, we will hold on to the silver thread that connects mother and daughter.

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