Sunday evening, as we drove to meet with our Church Life-Group, the Little Lady startled us with a simple statement.
“Me ‘n Sam are in LUV.”
Now, the fact of the Little Lady having a crush on her friend Sam was no surprise. She has been in love with that little boy for YEARS.
He’s an older man — a worldly 6 years years old — and with his nearly black eyes and brunette locks that are always in place (I’m sure more a testament to his mama than him), he has held my daughter’s heart captive. She has never wavered — always and forever, it has been “Sam”.
But, sadly for my sweet girl, her unabashed adornment of Sam is unrequited love. For all of these years, he has never once reciprocated her crush. And once, aloof but polite, he had a serious conversations with her, telling the Little Lady that she is his good friend … but NOT his girlfriend.
As the eavesdropper at that moment, it was all I could do not to cry out for her — to get her away from that scene, innocent though it was — to snatch her away before her heart broke into a million fragmented pieces. Remembering my first broken heart, I ached to protect my daughter.
But, the Little Lady surprised me. The disappointment was clearly written all over her face, but she didn’t argue with him. Didn’t cry. My daughter remained a pint-sized Lady: cool, calm, and collected.
Perhaps she had already noticed that boys are fickle while men are true, because she didn’t let Sam’s refusal stop her. The Little Lady was as determined as ever to have her Sir Lancelot . . . and, apparently, she knew to bide her time.
And, as she gave Sam less attention and waited — a pixie spider on gossamer threads — he started seeking her out. Playing with her. Chasing her. Calling her “Princess” and “Queen.” Blew her kisses.
Oh, yes — my daughter has instinctive skills and womanly wiles (certainly not from me). Sam, so she tells me, is now hers.
As we navigated the Houston highways, processing her announcement of True Love, the Little Lady prattled on and on and on.
They were going to have a date — a real date. “Probably,” she informed me, “we’ll drink juice and play. We both like to do that.”
“But,” I teased her as I caught the Husband’s eye in the rear view mirror, “I thought boys have cooties?”
“Oh, NO, Mommy!” She vehemently shook her head. “As long as he brushes his teeth three times a day, I don’t have to worry about boy cooties.”
“Daddy? When can we get married?”
The Husband, who you’d better believe had been following this conversation and hiding his laughter, cleared his throat. “Well, not till after College.”
The Little Lady wrinkled her brows — “Is that after Sunday?”
Over the course of the next half hour, she dreamed and planned. The wedding. Their dates. The wedding some more. What the name of their baby would be.
I threw different scenarios her way, trying to remind her that little boys can change their minds and that sometimes, believe it or not, they don’t like to play with little girls. And, even more shocking, they don’t like to hold hands or even stand by a little girl.
“And, there’s even a chance,” I warned my daughter, “that Sam could start liking another little girl.”
Nothing I said thwarted her.
The Little Lady is determined to grow up and grow old with her Sam.
Though I laugh over her plans and chuckle at her seriousness, I can’t help but hold my breath at what growing up will really mean for her … afraid for the day her heart really does crumble. All of the boy-talk is cute, but it is only reminding me that there will be tears someday. My girl will be confused, hurt, unfathomably sad.
It’s a rite of passage through girlhood.
And it’s a day I hope is far, far away.
‘Cause Mommy is not ready.