Please accept this letter as this mother’s advance apology for any and all future incidents of awkwardness or unpleasantness that may arise from her instinctual need to protect her offspring.
This instinct (“The Instinct”) applies in the event of any harm, real or imagined, literal or figurative, day or night, whether now or in the future. Witnessing The Instinct in action may result in raised voices, audible gasps, side-eyeing, and nervous throat-clearing.
This letter contemplates, but is not limited to, episodes of finger-wagging, eyebrow-raising, foot-tapping, death-glaring, and letter writing, in written and/or electronic form, whether intentional or not, from now until the end of time.
Intended recipients of this advance apology include, among other unnamed parties, soccer coaches, school principals, bus drivers, teachers, teaching assistants, overbearing PTA moms, airplane pilots, health practitioners, amusement park ride operators, camp counselors, and teenagers who refuse to Get Off My Lawn.
The writer of this notice agrees to take full responsibility for any and all consequences of The Instinct, including, but not limited to, ruined holidays, awkward car rides home from the in-laws, limited eye contact with the folks at the library who remember “the time,” and a general demotion in perceived levels of coolness.
The writer of this notice also acknowledges and hereby promises to keep to herself, and not disclose, all thoughts of “who am I,” “what have I become,” and “Oh My God, I’m turning into my mother.”
The writer hereby declares her intention to “use good judgment” and “let cooler heads prevail” in all situations where The Instinct may arise, though she also notes that she “can’t make any promises” and that “we might not be allowed back at the froyo place anymore.”
Episodes of The Instinct will typically increase following every national tragedy, international crisis, 6-o-clock news story, first day of school, birthday, milestone, and every time I’m reminded that my son will someday navigate this big world without his tiny hand clutched in mine.
This letter serves as further notice that “it’s not personal” and that, “if you don’t understand, someday you will.”
Yours in Overprotection,