In answer to your unasked question: Little G's Nativity play went down a storm.
No baby was dropped. Small waved copiously and Grandma was so glowing with pride, you could have run the lights off her.
And so to Christmas. Excitement is building in You Must Be Mad's house. The tree is up. Small has not, so far, removed any of the decorations, as he did last year when he took a great fancy to a small felt dinosaur, which kept getting rescued, returned, and re-stolen.
This year, we are hosting the family, and I have decided to go for ecologically sound decorations of a 'growing in the garden' variety, so there is trailing ivy up the stairs, and holly, bay and rosemary festooning the dresser and pictures.
Christmas lunch will be a feast. Due to Small's veg phobia, diplomatic negotiations will take place beforehand over the number of peas deemed acceptable. L-Plate Granddad will set light to the Christmas Pudding, despite Health & Safety warnings, and everybody will don paper hats and tell cracker jokes that Small won't get.
However. There is a spectre at the feast. Next year, Little G & Small will be moving with You Must Be Mad, to New York to live. Six years of sharing our lives and having adventures together is going to come to an end. And under the jollity and rejoicing, the greenery, the presents, the food and fun, there will be two very broken adult hearts at the table.
But the show must go on. And it will. Because it has to.
Happy Christmas, everyone ....
EDITOR: You can see the many books Carol hedges has written via this link.