Thursday, April 14, 2011

Three Years of Lilybean

Beloved firstborn girlchild, I offer you a prayer on this, your third birthday, courtesy of 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.


Tina Fey, Bossypants, 2011

But also know this, oh baby my baby, even if you do get bad flash tattoos and take acting and lie with drummers, I'll still love you more than you will ever, ever know.

- Mama


  1. LOL this is hilarious. I just read a review of her book Bossypants in Time, but this poem made me want to read it more than the article did :)

  2. Aaawww, this is sweet. Gotta love Tina Fey.

  3. Janine, a good friend heard Tina read it on a Fresh Air interview and alerted me to it! Perfect timing.

  4. OMFG, is it possible that Tina Fey just made my eyes well up? Yes. Yes it is.

    Just gorgeous.

    I don't think our daughters will be sharing a birthday though. This one seems content right where she is, and Lord knows, I ain't in any hurry to be tearing up my vagina again.

  5. Yes! THIS! I wished all of this for my Ella and it has (knock on wood) all come true so far. I have 2 more girls to go and can only think that my skillz will improve. I sometimes wonder if the bigger challenge for mothers is raising boys who will turn out to be loving husbands, gentle fathers and responsible members of our boy down and one more to go here. Sigh. Big job, this momma thing, eh? Happiest of wonderful days to you both as you let the sweet memories of three years ago invade...

  6. May she go through her Rough Patch from 12-17 with the very best of friendies and may they grow into adulthood together, raise their babies together, forgive each other a multitude of sins, and may they love each other unconditionally even when they think the other is crazy toons.

    Happy Birth Day Anneth, MLYLTM.

  7. I love this! And I, too, will love each of my children regardless of what happens for they are my children and because of that, I love them unconditionally.

    Happy birthday, beautiful, carefree, creative little Lilybean!!