Happiness is: Tina Fey's prayer for her daughter

01/03/2012 at 9:40 pm | Posted in Happiness is | 7 Comments
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I just finished reading Bossypants, and I now adore Tina Fey even more. This is one of my favorite parts of the book (followed closely by her childhood photos). I might just frame it for my girls’ rooms:

A Mother’s Prayer for her Daughter

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither the 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.




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  1. I read that book this summer and loved it – and Tina Fey. This was a great letter to her daughter – sweet, funny, and real. Although I take offense to the comment “not all the way to Finance” 🙂

  2. I absolutely love this…and can’t help but giggle every time I read the “Youdammit” part! Now only if there were a version of this for little boys, too!

  3. Oh I love it! Tina Fey is so awesome. I might have to get that book now.

  4. Thank you for sharing! That’s fantastic! I’ve been wanting to read her book for a while, but now I’m bumping it to the top of my list!

  5. Oh man that made me laugh. “For I will not have that shit. I will not have it.”

    That’s fantastic.

  6. I loved this whole book. Thanks for making me laugh out loud again. My favorite part is definitely “Youdammit.”

  7. Isn’t it the best?? I adore that woman.

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