To be honest, I don't even know if Lavinia was Lavinia, though I know Ermingarde was definitely Ermingarde, unless she was Ermintrude.
That was probably the first time we discussed our imaginary offspring. No, that's not true. We first discussed names when we'd been going out only a few months, less than a year, certainly; and at the tender age of not yet 21, that's a long time to be dating and still early on for such weighty discussions. We were in Lisbon, on a bench in the gardens of the Monastery of Jeronimos, I believe, though that's not important; I'm just giving you a sense of place. B had mentioned that he was partial to a particular girl's name, and I commented that, since putting it together with his last name would make the name of a famous film star, that would not be practical. Our friend appeared around the corner just as I was saying, "Well, if we have a girl, I'm not naming her that," and was justifiably a little concerned, no matter how much I reassured her that the whole conversation was extremely hypothetical.
But by the time we were driving to Roundstone it was eight years later and it was all just that little bit less hypothetical, even though at that point our permanent residences were an ocean apart and we hadn't quite figured out how to get around that fact. This was the trip where we both agreed that we wanted to get around it, although it took another 18 months for events to conspire to let that happen.
And I think it was then, after conjuring Ermingarde and Murgatroyd and their sister, whoever she was, that we agreed that 2.5 was a good number of children. Two and a half. Very sensible, though maybe not entirely practical. Two, with an option on a third, was how we left it.
And thus it stayed, for a long time. But the option has never been taken up, and it's due to expire very soon, if it hasn't already done so. Maybe it's because I can't remember what the other girl was called. Maybe it's because I can't even imagine having another girl or another boy; or not having one or the other. By which I mean, that if a hypothetical third child was a girl, I'd still be sorry about the boy she wasn't. And if it was a boy, likewise.
So I think two is it. And two is perfect, because we have two perfect children, no matter how much and how often they drive us both demented, individually and one at a time, and we want to run away and drink a lot of wine and sleep forever. We'll still keep 'em.
This post is part of a virtual baby shower in honour of two of the Irish bloggers who have welcomed and are about to welcome their own perfect second children. Many congratulations to Aine of (the currently on hiatus) AndMyBaby and Lisa of Mama.ie.
Yesterday's post in the bloghop was by Laura at My Internal World, and tomorrow's will be from Kieran at Go Dad Go.
And today's mystery letter is S.