I grew up living with my mum and dad and my bother who was 3 years older than me. My older sister Tracy, also lived with me until I was about 4. We used to share a room and although I would fight with her if I couldnt get my own way, we loved each other. She had a boyfriend, who I would follow around like a shadow whenever he was around. She left on bad terms with my mum.
When I was about 9, I gained some more family. Turned out, I had an older sister named Michelle, who had also left home on bad terms with mum, but she got back in touch. Along with a sister, I also gained a brother in law and a niece and a nephew. There was some riverally at first, adjusting to sudden changes, but I loved it.
A couple of years after that, Tracy got back in touch. By this point she had 3 kids, but one was ill. When she had had her youngest there had been complications. She should have been a twin, but only one survived, when Tracy got in touch, the youngest was ill in hospital needing surgery and a long stay. She survived and did well. I now had 3 nephews and 2 nieces.
Christmas was wonderful. It was chaos. The room full of nice smells and coloured strips of paper flying through the air as everyone exchanged presents. The excited squeals as the kids unwrapped what they wanted or sat and played games with each other. Everyone making the effort and wearing their best clothes. And after tea, we would go visit my nans with more kids and chaos. It was wonderful, I loved it so much.
Not long after, my elder sister Michelle got pregnant. It was a complicated pregnancy and she had to spend a big chunk of time in hospital before the birth. I got the job of looking after the other two kids. I already loved spending time with them. I got to play the nice role, the reading bed time stories and making hot chocolate.
When the baby was born, I was instantly in love. Shell used to come visit one afternoon a week and I would race home to spend 30 mins with the baby before she had to leave to pick the other two up.
Life was good. I had my family around me and I loved it.