Personally, I find Mother’s Day quite hard. I cannot bring myself to send a flowery, sugary card filled with sentimental messages which, to me, ring of insincerity. I dislike the commercialism of the day and the loud demands from all the shops to “give Mum a special gift this Mother’s Day”, and I don’t want my own children to feel under pressure to do something for me. 

So you would think I should be the last person to be asked to judge a Mother’s Day writing competition*.

However, the writing of the pupils at Aloeric Primary School in Melksham, Wiltshire was what Mother’s Day is all about: children showing mums their love and appreciation in their own words.

The writers were all very small people, as you can see in the photo, but do not be fooled: the poems were moving and original. Some of the writers had chosen to write an acrostic, using the word “MOTHER” and had come up with some unusual ideas based on this – it wasn’t all “I love my mum because she’s lovely”. One boy had written that his mum made him “pancakes sprinkled with love” – such a wonderful image! And the little chap holding the big pink heart had made a print with his hand under the last line “she holds my heart in her hand”. I did have to swallow quite hard as I read that one out. 

This year on Mother’s Day my daughter gave me a handmade card with a poem she had written and my son picked daffodils from the garden and wrote a menu out for breakfast which he then prepared. (He was careful to let me know that “pancakes and maple syrup are only available on Saturdays”, so I was not to ask for them.) 

The power of words is so much stronger than the power of commercialism. Give me a homemade card with a few thoughtful words straight from a child’s heart any day.

Even if I am not allowed pancakes and maple syrup on Sundays . . .


*the competition was the idea of the Co-operative Funeral Care Home and Chris Petty, the Mayor of Melksham, came to give the competition his support