I have the sweetest little friend, Laura. I affectionately refer to her as "LB."
LB is about to become a mom for the first time. She's so kind and sweet and adorable.
I don't have the heart to tell her she's about to become a monster.
But, then, that's the natural order of things, isn't it?
You see, when you become a parent, you become so many things. A guardian, nurturer, protector - and monster.
When you transform from a person to parent, whether through giving birth (self or spouse), adopting, or assuming parental responsibility for another human life, something inside you changes so profoundly that it makes you happier than you've ever been; more scared and worried than you'd ever imagined; and crazier than you ever thought possible.
It's the single greatest thing you'll ever do. It will make you feel more love than you knew you could feel.
And it also turns you into a scary, ugly monster - when required.
Case in point, an old acquaintance of mine, Fred Callahan of Kinsman, recently recounted a story illustrating this.
"Oh, I remember there was this one time when my boys were small. This older kid up the street was sort of bullying them, badmouthing them on the bus and the like, until one day when I locked eyes with him. That was all it took. They never heard a peep out of him again," he said cryptically.
Hmm. I didn't ask for details.
But here's the thing, no matter how level-headed, kind-hearted and sensible you are before children, once you have kids, all bets are off. What I mean to say is, you just can't help feeling complete and utter ire at anyone and anything that even potentially upsets, threatens or harms your child.
"You know you won't and can't but it's almost all you can do to keep from pummeling the kid at the park who shoves your kid off the swings. You just want to go over and pop him one," said my friend, um, let's refer to her as Marie, just in case the evil swing set troll can read.
It's bad enough when another child is mean to yours, but when the culprit is a grown-up? Oh, we Mommies go completely ballistic.
For instance, I have a pal, let's call her Sandy, whose son recently got a raw deal from his soccer coach.
As it happens, the coach felt the need to reprimand Sandy's boy for an illegal soccer practice move by insisting that he play the rest of the session without shin guards.
I'm sorry, what now?
For the record, I completely support Sandy's irrational reaction to want to book Creeper Coach on the next shuttle mission to the International Space Station. In fact, I've taken out another mortgage on my house to help pay for his one-way ticket.
Don't fret, LB. You're about to become completely absurd, illogical, and unreasonable. But you're in fine company, my friend.
I've invested in enough tar and feathers to surely last well through your wee one's first year of college.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.