I have learned a critical piece of fatherly information through my various clandestine sources and underground networks. This is not the usual scuttlebutt about my kids getting home 3 1/2 minutes late from school.

Nor is it the average news I gather through routine spying.

This is more than finding an ugly text message, or learning that my children viewed a forbidden movie on Netflix.

This is big news, dear reader; news I've been preparing for since the day my daughter was born.

It's been reported to me that Eve likes a boy.

Now, if you've been reading my column for any length of time, you know this isn't Eve's first foray into the love zone.

When she was about 2, the object of her affection was an imaginary boy named Poo Poo who lived in Florida and didn't have a car. A couple of years later, she heard a song by R&B singer Charlie Wilson and said he was her husband.

I told Charlie about it when I met him at NBC10. He laughed, signed an autograph for Eve, and said, "Tell my ex-wife I said hello."

It was all in good fun back then, and I remember it all like it was yesterday.

When Eve was about 6, she declared that Disney star Corbin Bleu, he of the curly hair and crooked smile, was the man of her dreams.

We all had different responses to the relationship.

LaVeta bought Eve a Corbin Bleu CD for Christmas. I put Corbin on my "Don't-touch-my-daughter" watch list. A cousin bought Eve a Corbin Bleu pinup. Little Solomon, who was 3 at the time, ripped the Corbin Bleu poster to shreds.

As time went on, Eve's penchant for engaging in long-distance love affairs led to Justin Bieber. But this time, rather than engaging in a solo crush, she co-founded a Belieber Society, complete with rules, a seating chart and a poster with a list of 50 songs.

Fortunately, Little Solomon never got his hands on that poster, and Justin Bieber never got his hands on Eve.

Alas, Eve is growing up, and while she still carries a torch for Justin Bieber, she's starting to like boys who are a little more accessible than the ones in Hollywood.

As her father, I'm watching these developments closely, but, to be honest, I'm not nearly as concerned as I thought I would be.

That's because I know that Eve is the prize and not the other way around. Should some boy win her heart, he would be the lucky one, not her, and I've done everything I could to show her why.

She knows she's pretty because I tell her so. She knows she's loved because I tell her that, too. She knows what it's like to be respected and appreciated, so sweet talk will only get a guy so far.

I've taken her to dinner, opened her door, pulled out her chair and provided protection, so she knows how a gentleman should behave. If some boy does anything outside those parameters, Eve will know something's wrong. I hope she'll respond accordingly.

My daughter is smart and confident, funny and articulate. She's a leader, and she's always been that way, from the moment LaVeta felt Eve moving in the womb.

If there was loud music, Eve kicked extra hard to let LaVeta know she didn't like the noise. That showed us that Eve already knew what she wanted and knew how to go about getting it.

Nothing has changed since then, except this: Eve has learned even more about what she likes and what she doesn't.

Do I expect her to make some mistakes when it comes to boys? Of course I do. Mistakes are part of learning.

But, as Eve continues her journey from Corbin Bleu to real-life relationships, I expect her to remember one thing above all else.

Her daddy will always be there.

Solomon Jones' column appears Tuesdays.