I never had that grave desire to have a daughter.
When my third son was born in 1998, I was more than delighted. Some people said to me during that pregnancy, 'wouldn't it be just perfect if you had a little girl now.' I shrugged it off as I just wanted to ensure that I had yet another healthy baby.
The sex was never something I dwelt upon. I guess if the truth be told a little part of me was a tad scared of having a daughter in case she turned into the rebel teen that I had been. I often wondered how my parents coped with my rebelliousness. I'm not sure I could ever have survived the responsibility of a 'mini-me'!!! Fortunately, I never got to find out!
As my three boys grew up, there was never a moment I wished I'd had that 'little girl'. But as milestone birthday's and anniversaries began to beckon I wondered if the 'boys' might know to buy 'the gift', to 'surprise Mum and Dad'. I needn't have worried, as they surpassed all expectations just last month.
My husband and I were married 25 years in October this year and I always had the dream that we might spend it in Paris. We'd often thought over the years of holidaying there but I had a secret desire to spend our 25th there for the first time. So as the anniversary approached earlier this year, I took it upon myself to book that 'romantic escape' to Paris. I booked it early summer 2017. It was a Sunday afternoon. I texted one of the boys to say I had just done such and I was a little taken aback by his response. "You haven't paid for it have you, Mum?" Actually, I hadn't. I'd booked the hotel via 'booking.com' and told him that. He assured me that he and his two brothers would be paying for this trip. I laughed quietly and thought, 'Yeah, right'. Little did I know that laugh was on me.
As October fast approached the boys got saving and assured us that they were indeed paying for the trip. My bank balance increased one weekend and soon I realised one of those boys had lodged money into my account. Then another of those boys dropped money into the house one evening, "that's towards the Paris trip" we were told. Suddenly a 'free trip' to Paris was on the cards. Yee-haw, was all I could think. It really was coming together.
So on October 14th this year, we did indeed fly to Paris and spent three beautiful days and nights in 'the most romantic city in the world', thanks to those three boys of ours.
In Paris that weekend, we were greeted by a freak heatwave. Storm Ophelia was set to hit Donegal but we were basking in 25-degree sunshine in Paris. Could it be more perfect? Definitely not!
So for three days and three nights we strolled the streets of Paris. We dined in Parisian restaurants. We sipped wine in Parisian wine bars. We strolled by the Seine. And we browsed Parisian bookshops. Those three young men ensured we got the dream. It really was all I had wanted and then some more.
Girls have that romantic edge that we ladies all crave, but boys have the knowledge to ensure that Mum and Dad do have fun and do celebrate.
Those three boys are far from perfect. I wouldn't have them any other way. Being married 25 years was special to both myself and himself. And thanks to those male kiddos we got to experience a few days we had dreamed off.
Growing up the boys never had all they wanted. Life didn't permit such. But they always had all they needed and more. So for them to acknowledge our 25th wedding anniversary in a way that was special to us, really was a blessing.
Boys will always be boys. Perhaps having three lovely girlfriends might have had a little influence on their generosity, but I'm just proud that they had the decency to acknowledge the occasion. I'm just hoping they know that they must do the same for every anniversary from here on! Time will tell. Now where shall they send us next year? I can't wait to find out!!! Mind you, I might be waiting a while!