"The Mother's Prayer For Its Daughter"

In Tina Fey's book Bossypants, she spells out what -- at least -- she hopes her daughter will not do (especially in her teen years). She read this poem aloud on NPR's Fresh Air, but here it is for you to read... and perhaps pass on to your own children! Here is "The Mother's Prayer for its Daughter."

Tina Fey - Bossypants

Already the mother of one daughter, Alice, and expecting baby #2 later this year, motherhood is very much on the comedienne's mind. So now we bring you this excerpt from Tina Fey's book, Bossypants:

"The mother's prayer for its daughter"

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 the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, 

May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half

And stick with Beer.

Tina Fey and daughter AliceGuide 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.


More on Tina Fey

I Heart Bossypants by Tina Fey | Real Moms guide

Tina Fey says motherhood makes her more sympathetic

Megamind stars speak: Tina Fey and Will Ferrell front and center

Age 14 Age 15 Age 16 Age 17 Age 18 Age 13 Age 12 Age 11 Age 10 Age 9 Age 8 Age 7 Age 6 Age 5 Age 4 Age 3 Age 2 Age 1 baby pregnancy


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Comments on "Tina Fey's prayer for her daughter"

Birchmore September 23, 2012 | 1:17 PM

Every parent who was ever a teenager him- or herself knows what the rough patch is. We pray that our children endure and survive it when they're still young enough to be helped. I don't like Tina F's exterior liberalism, but people deserve credit when it's due, and for her poem I have to give Tina F an "A".

k August 09, 2012 | 9:18 AM

Just because not all of us don't believe in god doesn't mean we can't appreciate what Fey's saying here. Very poignant and sweet.

John August 07, 2012 | 7:45 AM

So sinners can't believe or want more of God? wow you people must be all saints...fact is no matter where some one is at in their lives they need God..so lets stop judging unless your last name is Christ...did we forget david... solomon...moses little stubborn self....abraham..e on give people a break

Rachel July 19, 2012 | 4:30 PM

This is so hilarious :)

Erika July 18, 2012 | 11:52 AM

To those who didn't like this, grow a pair of balls. And a sense of humor. This was hilarious. And wonderful.

Livvi's Mom July 18, 2012 | 10:37 AM

What a lovely poem! Tina hit it right on the mark. This is just about everything I wish for my daughter also. How can anyone read this and think its bad, stupid or wrong? Open your eyes,ears and hearts people! The world is bad enough without people trying to make something bad out of something good!

Freester July 12, 2012 | 6:36 AM

To those who were offended. Read the meaning... she asks hat her daughter get though the troublesome years, un marked and unscathed. She asks the Lord to protect her from danger. She asks that she come through her teen years wiser and stronger and ready to face adulthood. She asks that she be guided to follow her heart but use her head. Is that NOT what we pray to the Lord for? Please, use your Christian soul to see the meaning in peoples hearts. Not everyone speaks like a 16th century missal. She put into today's lingo the dreams, hopes and fears we ALL face as we watch our babies race head long into adulthood. Please open your minds before you cast aspersions.

bill July 11, 2012 | 7:20 AM

gosh, Tina, thanks for confirming yet again why our culture is so corrupt. Frankly, this is one more example of an entertainment celebrity trying to be cute. I hope the daughter has more regard for its mother.

kim July 10, 2012 | 6:22 PM

Even the devil believes in God. What's the deal with all these Hollywood people. All their lives they make fun of people, christians until a need comes up. What Hypocrits

jcarmel July 09, 2012 | 6:53 AM

This is wonderful....sassy and oh so true!

sally June 30, 2012 | 5:40 PM

She is a comedian... Why is everyone so serious? This is one chapter/passage from her book. This isn't the title. That would a short book! A good sense of humor sure is hard to come by apparently.

Jennifer June 30, 2012 | 2:32 PM

Tina Fey believes in God? I hope her daughter becomes a born again Christian and teaches abstinence classes and natural birth control.

Carol moorby June 29, 2012 | 1:17 AM

She forgot the most important part of the prayer and that is to seek God with all your hearth, to accept Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior, to follow the BIBLE, and be obedient to the word of God. To live her IDE in a Godly fashion and not be entrapped in the worlds system.AMEN!

claudia June 19, 2012 | 12:30 PM

.. "grant her rough patch from 12 to 17" that by this she will gain/build stronger character by going through such moments

Dan May 18, 2012 | 7:05 AM

Stupid title for a book. A Mother's Prayer for Its Daughter. What does its mean. Its ; Is that a child or some inanimate creature? Is its Fey's daughter? You can't fix stupid.

lenevia burns March 10, 2012 | 10:36 AM

my daughter gets it like only a mother can. All of the love and care and hopes and dreams and the protection from pain either physical or emotional all the fears for their safety, letting them leave when the time is right for them,not when we're ready, and all the wiping of their butt and nose. Tina had it right, from the heart. I love you Lyssa and Nikki. a mom :)

Christine May 14, 2011 | 1:28 PM

No, she means that awkward stage. The one that makes you stronger when you hit your twenties. :0)

sera April 24, 2011 | 1:04 PM

The poem is lovely. Modern and charismatic. A truthful prayer for what we hope for our daughters. I think she means that her daughter is 1)Alive 2)Well 3)Normal in it's broadest sense etc to be "Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen." If she is not any of the three listed above etc then she won't have that granted.

ed April 21, 2011 | 8:16 AM

love the poem! I wonder what she means by "Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen." What is Rough Patch. Hard times?

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