Growing up is hard to do

This story is Inspired by Jamie Vesta's 'Genderquake' over at Eves Rib, and in particular,
the post titled "You'll Wear What You're Told To Young Man"

Peter’s childhood was relatively normal; he played army with his friends, climbed trees, had a train set and loads of action figures and liked nothing more than his trusty old jeans with a hole in the knee, a zip up hoodie and his thoroughly worn in trainers.

His mother, Helen is an architect and his father worked part time in a biscuit factory. Helen often told her husband that he could give up work as her wage alone could easily support their family, but he was proud to work and wished he could get more hours and maybe even a promotion. But with more women in the boardroom, more women get promoted and as such, Peter's dad had been stuck on the shop floor for years whilst his mother's career went from strength to strength. When Peter was seven years old his father became permanently stuck to the shop floor when a section of racking collapsed, tragically killing him on the spot. Ever since that day, Peter has been raised solely by his mother.

With the support of his family and teachers, Peter faired relatively well with the loss of his father. The nearest thing Peter had to a father figure in his junior years was Ron Blakely; a widower in his fifties. Mum called him the handyman but mostly he Hoovers and irons, dusts and washes up. He used to be a proper handyman but as the work dried up for him, he diversified into a more domestic realm as that was one area which the women weren’t taking over. Even then, Ron found it hard to earn enough to support himself as more and more men were being laid off, leaving them plenty of time to tend to such chores. “In my day they used to call 'em kept men … if a bloke didn't have a job he was a sponger, too lazy to work ... these days they call 'em stay-at-home-husbands and it's supposed to be a good thing... times change lad... times change.” Ron said to an eight year old Peter.

Ron had to give up working altogether due to ill health and since then the ironing and laundry has been done by an agency; run by women, worked by men. Between the two of them, Peter and his mother kept on top of the hoovering and dusting.

Peter's mother gave him the freedom to strive to be all he could be and encouraged him to try his best, “Even if you're not very good at something, your best is good enough.” she used to tell him.