So what have I been doing with myself these past nine months? Taking care of a baby for Pete’s sake. Nothing, and I mean nothing can prepare you for this kind of sacrifice and work. And I am not a young, new mom, but sometimes I think that makes it harder because I am so, so selfish. I mean like calling my mom over to my house on day 2 of being home from the hospital because I needed a nap kind of selfish. I simply could not go without ANY sleep. I cried to my doctor on our first visit about it. I just remember saying over and over to her about how hard it is . . . my husband literally had panic attacks. And this little 7 pound girl broke him, I mean, out of 6 years of marriage I have only seen him cry a few times and it was all during this time out of fear that our lives would never be the same again. We were overwhelmed to say the least and I couldn’t stop talking about it to anyone who would listen. Thank the Lord, a lot of people listened and so many people did so many kind things for us to help us along the way. Anyways, we love her to pieces and now all I can think about is what she will be like. Actually, I think a lot about things that if she did would BREAK MY HEART. I read Tina Fey’s book Bossy Pants a while back and loved it so much! A friend the other night reminded me of Tina’s prayer for her daughter. This is as good of a place to start as any . . .
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.
The little one: