I remember Brian coming home from Chris's house a few times, when he was just a 'lil kid, grumbling about how annoying Chris' little sister was. Probably tried to get into their secret clubhouse, or eat all of their pizza or something.
This annoyance, though, eventually transformed into something else. Courtney was okay. Then, Courtney was his friend. Over the years, it's been clear that Courtney has been a friend of a special sort to my son. I watched them through their teen years, as they stood beside each other during tough times, made demands that the other get their act together, walked away from one another when they had to, and then naturally reappeared, steadfast and unapologetic.
I'm in the Mom-Loop, so I never quite got the full story on their relationship. I'd come home to find him highlighting her hair, and there was a prom here, a dance there.
I was never sure if they were ever an "item" but I knew—we all knew, I think—that Brian was in love with her. I think I started jokingly referring to her as "Courtney-My-Future-Daughter-in-Law" when Brian was about 14 years old. I'd drop it, occasionally, because it sounded silly, and I knew how much he cared for her, but I could never help trotting that back out. It seemed, well...kind of obvious.
See, I didn't really know what would happen between these two, but this much I knew for sure: My son is at peace when Courtney is the room. He's happy. He's relaxed.
He is, simply where he should be, when he is with Miss Courtney Hinton.
That said, I'd like to introduce you to someone.
My future daughter-in-law.
I don't have to tell you I love her. But I do.