They've known each other since 6th grade, have shared classes and hung out during the high school musicals. He's friends, too, with my son; coming over to play video games, watch movies and go sledding. They've all hung out together as a group with their cookie-baking goofiness and home movie-making...
But something happened somewhere along the way. He looks at her differently now, seeing beyond the "buddy" to the beautiful person she is.
Some guys miss it, choosing instead the girls who demand the attention; girls whose beauty is fleeting because it eventually loses its substance. It is the rare teenage boy who truly sees my daughter and understands who she is. She doesn't travel the normal path, but strikes out on her own, standing in her strength and grounded in her ideals.
I give him credit, this young man who stepped across our door tonight in a different light. Because he gets it. And in the middle of his goofy, light-hearted and quirky demeanor, he has reserved a place of respect for my "little girl".
BUT...he still got 'the talk' from me before they left for the movies, and I'll still be waiting for their midnight return!