Parenting Papers: Tina Fey Inspires Prayer for Children
Dark chocolate, comfy shoes and fitted sheets make the list.
I finally got around to reading Tina Fey’s recent memoir, Bossy Pants, in between stressing over graduation party minutia and frequent trips to Birmingham’s Starbucks for decaffeinated skinny vanilla lattes.
Oh, what a satisfying read it is. She not only writes about her career in comedy as the first female head writer for Saturday Night Live, she also touches on the topic of motherhood in her typically sardonic way.
I was amused by a chapter called “The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter” in which she slyly acknowledges the challenges of parenting a generation amidst the glassy stares of Kardashian sisters from magazine racks everywhere (especially while standing in line at Kroger's).
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...
She also wishes for a fulfilling career for daughter Alice, born in 2005.
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.
Amen to that. Stay away from Finance and high heels.
I was so inspired by her prayer I thought I’d take a stab at my own. Without further ado, here is my take on a mom's prayer for her two children.
First, Lord, I would like my children to be happy, well-adjusted, decent and reasonably problem-free. (Well, who wouldn’t want that?)
I would also like them to roll with the punches when they come, because You know they will, and have the wherewithal to pick out a good head of lettuce at the grocery store.
I pray they don’t get addicted to anything, but if they do, to Starbucks. No harm there, except to the pocketbook.
Please let them know the difference between dark and milk chocolate, and that dark is slightly better for them.
I hope they are never unemployed, but if they are, provide them (please) the opportunity to pursue a long-buried passion and still pay the bills.
It’s important that they get along with others (because if they don’t, it might be documented in a performance review), and to appreciate dried cherries in salad with blue cheese dressing (maybe not so important, but still…).
As You watch over them, please let them know that people are pretty much the same everywhere. Except in parts of L.A. where portions of the population walk around in insanely tight yoga gear looking really fit.
If they do get addicted to coffee, help them see that Tim Horton’s is a cheaper alternative to Starbucks. And I’m certain You will agree that “things” won’t make them happy, people will; but “things” can add lightness to their day especially if they have the means to purchase comfy Euro-shoes, hand-crafted in some Scandinavian country likely to host an Olympics if they haven’t already.
Maybe You don’t agree on that second half.
Help them seize the opportunity to walk around in a big city on a different continent, maybe London or Paris and appreciate the thankless beauty in sidewalk art.
I don’t know how You feel about cars, but if You can, steer them toward those that ride smoothly, no pun intended, so they can experience the fine art of engineering. (If You could make sure those cars are made in Michigan that would be great.)
May they also, Lord, enjoy anything with caramel (caramel praline ice cream, caramel corn, Dove dark chocolate hearts with gooey caramel insides); and should they make milk and cookies a habit, guide them toward skim milk over whole. Then help them find charm in gravel and dirt roads, and fitted sheets when they are properly folded because that is one tough accomplishment.
Help them, also, embrace technology, always (something tells me that won’t be a problem) but to not use it as a substitute for real relationships.
And finally, see to it, Lord, that they have families of their own, get along with each other as adults, like their siblings’ spouses (because that’s just nice when that happens), and quit blaming me for that Amish vacation, even though it was totally my idea and I really enjoyed it.