Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Because I want to be Tina Fey when I grow up

And because I understand now what it means to be a mother (which means I may actually already finally have grown up).

A Mother's Prayer for Its Child

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

Tina Fey and daughter AliceMay 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 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. 


The acting-finance part really made me laugh because I don't want Vito to be a writer, only because it is so damn hard, but should he want to become one, I will support it wholeheartedly. At the same time, if he decides to be in computer programming or finance, I don't think I'd want that either because I simply will not be able to communicate with him!

The poop-at-4am part made me cry. Because the first thing I do every morning is clean up my son's behind, which I strangely happily contentedly do and because my Mama is dead and I never really got to thank her because I was ungrateful to the very end of her life. But maybe she sees me, too, and knows because somewhere in heaven she's looking down at me through God eyes.

This poem-prayer is in Tina Fey's new book, Bossypants, a predictably funny and surprisingly endearing and educational memoir of the woman I really identify with.

Photo and poem source here.


  1. This one tug my heart! Thank you for sharing this.
    It's sad and funny and witty all in one -- that's Tina Fey! And I also don't mind wiping feces off my (big) babies' asses!
    For sure your mom is proudly watching over you and your family :)
    Have a good week and can;t wait to see you Saturday!

  2. Oh Frances, this made me cry so much. May I re-post this poem on Facebook? I will, of course, credit you and the lovely Tina Fey :) Seriously, reading your blog has helped me in so many ways :)

  3. Oh Michelle, I just posted her poem (I wish I'd written it!). But thanks for saying that this blog has affected you in positive ways =D


This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!