This Christmas for the first time in many years, I was with all my five children (ages 21-40) and Grandson (11) in my son's small, crowded house. I was tired and went to bed early and all I could hear as I was lying in bed was very loud laughter and animated conversation coming from the lounge below the little bedroom I was in. My daughter came up to ask me if they were being too loud. 'No', I said, 'I love to hear all the noise and laughter.' At one time I would have asked them to be quieter, but not now. It was just the most precious thing of all of Christmas. My five children, the very best of friends, always supportive of each other and my grandson with all his uncles and auntie to care for him all laughing together. Yes, the house was overcrowded, Grandson sleeping on cushions on the floor, my daughter in a sleeping bag on one end of the sofa, my eldest son in a sleeping bag on the other, my other two sons in the bedrooms. Yes there was barely room to walk, especially with my very large golden retriever also asleep amongst the presents, but it was wonderful. I'd always hoped that my family would remain close and supportive of each other and they are. I know for sure that whatever the future might hold for me, my children will always be there for each other. I could wish for nothing more.
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