Both poems portray a loving relationship between mother and child. In ‘Gap Year’ the mother is energised by thought of her son and his exploration of the other side of the world. This is similar to the mother in 'Lucozade' being energised by her daughter removing symbols of illness. In each case, through their children the mothers experience a sense of life and freedom.
Both poems depict women with strong characters. The mother in ‘Lucozade’ wants her ‘luxuries’ to cheer her up and will not conform to the conventional behaviour of an invalid. The grandmother in the latter poem is also particular about gifts. She vehemently maintains her routine and standards despite her age. Both are spirited and unconventional in their behaviour.
Both poems also recognise the possibility of death. In 'Lucozade' the poem begins with worry about mother's illness and ends with images that suggest the mother passing beyond illness to a heaven-like place. In 'My Grandmother's Houses', Kay reflects that her grandmother will one day die with the
sideboard solid like a coffin and the final image of screaming ambulances.