a mother's day prayer

From Bossypants, Tina Fey, 2011.

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be beautiful but not damaged, for it’s the damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the beauty.

When the crystal meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with beer.

Grant her a rough patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a tiger flower blooming magenta for one day – and adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from acting but not all the way to finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes and not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the drums to the fiery rhythm of her own heart with the sinewy strength of her own arms, so she need not lie with drummers.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers and the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a bitch in front of Hollister, give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, for I will not have that shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a mental note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.


Thanks for all of your comments and messages - Saucy is hurt and sore but just fine! She was only shaken, not stirred, after her traffic accident on Tuesday and she's off and running in her usual 300 directions... only with a few bruises.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone! xo


MJ said...

Some of these things I have experienced. I am bracing myself for teenage-hood but suspect my sentiments will reflect yours in only a few years.

oliver rain said...

I love this. She's written the prayer for all of us. I've been wanting to get BossyPants for a while.

Erin O. said...

That was great! I laughed and cried! This is my first Mother's Day as a mother, and I know I have much to look forward to!

Michelle said...

as the mother of a 15 (going on 25) year old- that was beautiful. From your lips....

Sandra D said...

Happy Mother's Day! Your comments are so poignant & I hope all your dreams for your daughter come true.

the treat girl said...

Miss....My beloved 15 year old I hardly know anymore....she has also announced to me that we have no relationship...for reals??? Since when??? I thought things were doing pretty good, considering she's 15.....anyhoo...I'm praying your prayer very hard and hoping we come out in one piece on the other side....Happy Mother's Day dear Saucy!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Amen amen amen. I do relish the fact that all 3 of my boys are terrified of needles and NOT inclined to get tattooed (so far).
How did I miss that your accident JUST happened? I thought it was something that you'd experienced a while ago! Take care--I hope you're mending fast and not experiencing much trauma from it--a friend of mine got in a bad wreck and it took her a long time to get behind the wheel once again.

Clandestine Road said...

This book was gold.

The prayer was my favorite.