Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Borrowed Mother's Prayer from a Busy Mother

I have way too much work to do on way too little sleep to write any of the posts buzzing around in my head, so I'm going to cop out and post something someone else wrote. A famous, funny, and awesome someone - Ms. Tina Fey. You may have already seen it, but my co-worker sent this poem to me last week and it made me giggle on an otherwise crappy afternoon. Hopefully it will do the same for you (or, even better, make you giggle on an already awesome afternoon).

The Mother's Prayer for Its Daughter
from Bossypants 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 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 nearby 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.


May no tattoos stain her tender haunches.

(Has anyone read the book? The reviews are really good and my dad loved it; it may be my first non-fiction book purchase since I was in school and forced to read them.)


  1. My students are watching a movie and I am snickering at my desk. "Cleans feces off her baby's neck" really got me.

  2. Yep, "“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck" is probably my favorite line. It made me laugh and then feel a little wistful all at the same time. :)

  3. I haven't read it, but I'm considering getting the audiobook (and I don't Do audiobooks) because Ms. Tina Fey actually NARRATES THE AUDIOBOOK. It's spendier than the book or Kindle version, but I kind of think it might be worth it.

  4. Finished last night....excellent. Like many comedy books, it's choppy but does speak about much of her formative years. Unlike most biographies, she doesn't cover everything as I think she's private. I repect that and was happy to read some great, humorous childhood stories. I very much identify with her. I'm sarcastic but not creatively funny. Despite that, as a fellow brunette, recently emerged ugly duckling, and slightly older mother, she is my hero.I also now respect how much she works!

  5. WOW. Seriously, WOW. I just finished Bossypants a few minutes ago, archived it, put the Kindle down, came to the computer, opened Google Reader, saw that you had posted, clicked your link first.

    No lie.

    Yes, it was worth the read - I thought the first couple of chapters were "Meh", but then I really got into it and swept right through it, finishing it in a day. Seriously, a good read - particularly, if you love "behind the scenes" types of memoirs (which I do!) I'm so glad I didn't download the sample chapter, otherwise, I would have given up.

  6. haha, wow too funny. Moments ago I pulled the same cop-out and posted her prayer to my blog. I love it. Good luck with the week.

  7. I would like to reiterate what Hil said, the flow was a little off, which is why I struggled with it at first. Once I got used to her rhythm, reading it went much quicker.

  8. Since I have yet to get around to purchasing the full book, I have only read the intro via Kindle sample...but I love it so far!

    "Because I am nothing if not an amazing business woman, I researched what kind of content makes for bestselling books. It turns out the answer is "one night stands", drug addictions and recipes. Here, we are out of luck. But I CAN offer you lurid tales of anxiety and cowardice."

  9. I want to read that too. Love the tattoo comment! it's very timely for me. My cousin's son got a tat last week on his 18th birthday and my first thought was about my girls' beautiful baby limbs and how I hope they never get tattoos. I'd be so very sad.