There was one woman in particular who really got Sam grinning. She worked for a company that runs tour boats along the Chicago River. As we purchased our tickets, she fussed and flirted. As we waited for departure, she flirted and fussed. As we boarded the boat, she fussed and flirted, all the while proclaiming, "Oooh, this boy likes the wimmens!"
We didn't know then how right she was. Sam's what you might call a ladies man; his best friends have always been girls (or, if you're Sam "garrils").
It all began with MJ. She was cute and coy, and she laughed at all his jokes.
Unfortunately, she was also his first cousin. And she lived hundreds of miles away. So there wasn't much of a future there, despite those dazzling golden curls.
So Sam moved on to Ella. We met Ella's family soon after we moved to Ohio, and we all became fast friends. But I didn't realize the extent of Sam's devotion until our ward Halloween party. They were inseparable.
In fact, at the end of the evening, when everyone was heading to their cars, the two of them stood at the top of the stairs that led to the parking lot unwilling to move. They'd have to separate to get down the stairs (Ella was wearing wooden shoes, so walking solo was awkward enough!), but Sam did not want to let of of Ella's hand.
It was hard to leave Ella (and the rest of her family) behind when we moved to Buffalo.
But before long, Sam found Alli. (He called her "the new Ella" at first). Since then, we've had lots of fun play dates with Alli and her family, including one to the Buffalo Botanical Garden, where this three-year-old duo got "married." I think the wedding was Allison's idea, but Sam certainly did not object, especially since the ceremony consisted mostly of running around the gardens hand-in-hand.
Oh, and also a little mid-winter dip in the fountain. Splish splash!
But sooner or later, three-year-olds turn four. And that meant Sam was off to school, where he met a little girl named Claire. Her name came up often, and she seemed to be at the center of all his classroom interactions. I'd ask, "Did you make any new friends at school today?" And he'd answer "No. I just like Claire."
A couple months into the school year his teacher, Mrs. S, told me that he told her he was "in love with Claire." Mrs. S told Sam that people usually wait until they're a little older to fall in love, but Sam insisted. "She's the prettiest girl in the class!" he said. Mrs. S couldn't argue with that, so she let the subject drop.
One subject that is not likely to drop anytime soon is that Sam does not see enough of his current flame, Abygail. No party is fun, no gathering is complete, no outing is satisfactory without sweet, spunky Abygail. More than once he's told me, "Mom, I really love Abygail." And I believe him. He makes up stories about her. He draws pictures for her. He sets aside his favorite clothes to wear on days that he plays with her. His great scheme is for Abygail (and her family) to move into our guest room so that he can play with her EVERY DAY.
(I extended the invitation, but Abygail's mom said no thanks. 100 square feet isn't enough room for six people? Whatever!)
So Sam may "love the wimmens," but day-to-day, I guess Sam is just stuck with me. And to tell you the truth, that's kind of how I like it: my funny little man, all to myself.