Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Mother's Prayer for Its Child, by Tina Fey

In the year and a half since I've owned my Android phone, the only application I've ever paid for is BeyondPod, an app that lets me download and listen to podcasts. I love it. I never really understood the world of podcasts before, but now that I can get them right on my phone and store them for road trips, flights, etc, I'm a total devotee.

The other day, while cleaning or getting ready or something else equally boring, I listened to the 45 min interview of Tina Fey on Fresh Air. I have to say, I watch 30 Rock but I have NOT been giving Tina Fey her fair admiration. I loved the interview and especially her takes on modern day feminism. The interview is free through that link; you have to listen. I really don't think there are any voices out there right now that are as on-point and funny, she's my new role model.

She was on the show to promote her new book Bossypants and as part of the interview read an excerpt entitled A Mother's Prayer for Its Child. B heard me listening to it from the next room and yelled that he had just heard that interview yesterday in the car and was crying with laughter when she read it. It's alarmingly true, I may frame this for Charlotte's room.

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.



Leslie said...

I can appreciate this so much. Not as a mother, but because my passion is acting, but my career is in Finance.

Why didn't I know better? Why, Mom??

Anonymous said...


That is beautiful.


Shannon said...

Absolutely LOVE it. Especially Youdammit." Pure Gold!

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