It's Mother's Day today and time to consider the important things in your life. Family comes to mind first. My children and my husband are my most cherished blessings. I also cherish the other women in my family - my mother-in-law, my sister, my sister-in-laws, my close girl friends and I wish them a very Happy Mother's Day. Some of my friends have no children ,but they have 'mothered' and mentored so many young lives over the years that in my mind Mother's Day is for them also. The children of this world are a shared responsibility and everyone in society has a role to play.
But have you ever stopped to think about the other 'important things' in your life? Not people - things. You probably have an object in your home which you cherish because of the memory it brings or the person who owned it previously. I know I have many: my children's baby clothes, the toy my mother knitted for me when I was little, my wedding dress... A particularly important object of mine is my mother's first driver's licence from 1955. She was only 19 years old and no one in her family even owned a car, so it was quite an achievement.
You may never have stopped to wonder whether children also have 'things' they consider to be very important. I know my husband did. Tucked in the back of his bedside cupboard is a childhood tin of 'important things' from his childhood. Things like his scout badge and ribbons from athletics and swimming. There's even a small box with nothing in it but some old cotton wool, and I'm wondering whether this might have been the tooth fairy box.
There's a picture book in this, you're thinking.
Sorry, it's already been done by the author/illustrator who is a master of finding a story with heart and then telling it on more than one level. That person is Peter Carnavas and his latest picture book is called 'The Important Things', New Frontier Publishing.
The story tells the emotional journey of a boy and his mother as they come to terms with an absent father/husband and their individual ways of coping with this loss. Adults reading the story will enjoy the heartfelt emotions displayed so gently by Peter's words and pictures, and children reading the story will have fun discovering the 'important things' as they re-appear one by one. It just goes to prove, what is important to one person may not be to another. I highly recommend this lovely book with its reassuring warm colours and vibrant images.
So of course, when Peter Carnavas came to the Marks and Gardner Gallery yesterday for the book launch of 'The Important Things', I was there.