Before you read anything by little old me, read what I borrowed from another blogger. A friend posted the link on Facebook. Fantastic!
A Mother’s Prayer for Its Child By Tina Fey
“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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m not sure exactly what this means about me, but I swear I had tears streaming down my face when I read this. (And I am not a crier.) I truly pray or have prayed for everyone of those things (or the sentiment behind them) for my children. I think it was extra poignant for me because I have children at such varying ages. I’ve already lived out some of these scenarios and made it through, for better or for worse. And, with the knowledge that comes from experience, I again have one foot in that dreamy world where I still have a chance of effecting any or all of these things. It is a weird place to be. I have trouble looking at my older children without being reminded of what they were like as babies and toddlers. It makes me tender hearted toward them. My husband and father think perhaps too tender hearted sometimes. Maybe they’re right. I also can’t look at my little girl without knowing first hand how quickly she will grow up and when all is said and done, how little control I will have had over most of it. Even though I’m working hard to savour her early years , it sometimes seems like she’s growing up even faster than my first two babies. Almost like it was over before it started.
Enough about me. Go read A Mother’s Prayer for Its Child by Tina Fey again. And go check out Melody Godfred ‘s blog. I know I’m going to.