"Mom, I asked her to be my girlfriend. But don't worry - I talked to her dad already."
"You asked her dad?"
Peter and I exchanged silent glances, since "asking the dad" isn't something we had coached this young man to do.
There are a few gifts born from my sons watching my own love story: when Peter sought permission from everyone in my circle, my boys were watching.
"Yep. I asked for an appointment with him, and I asked if it would be okay if with him if I wanted to date his daughter."
"And what did he say?"
"Well, first, he said he needed to think."
Yes, I bet he did. Most dads of teenage girls are not prepared for this moment on the fly. Neither are most moms of boys.
"Then he said he had four rules."
My son counted them off on his fingers.
Don't touch her.
Don't be alone with her.
She's the only one I have, so treat her like the best thing you've ever had.
Even better, treat her like the best thing you've never had.
There are no second chances."
Four of the most reasonable, tangible rules for dating a daughter.
"And how did you feel about those?"
"I feel like I can do those things."
"So you're dating his daughter?"
"Yes. He said I could."
And there you have it. And so we enter the realms of dating upon request.
Kudos to the dad who didn't respond with the shotgun approach, who made this conversation a positive learning experience as my son asked permission for the most precious yes.