Today, I send love and respect to all of the moms I know.
To the moms who work far too much and spend their days feeling guilty and their nights cobbling together school projects, squeezing in haircuts and organizing everyone’s lives.
To the moms who stay home with their kids and worry about coddling them and feel guilty for wanting adult conversation.
To the moms with kids who challenge them in ways they never imagined.
To the moms with perfect kids who are waiting for the other shoe to drop.
To the moms whose babies were conceived during one night stands or on wedding nights or after a bottle of Shiraz or following months of injections or in a petrie dish.
To moms who battle the baby blues.
To moms who breast feed and to those who don’t, and especially to those who don’t judge the moms that do the opposite of what works for them.
To moms who literally cross the earth for their children — to China or Haiti or South Africa or Ethiopia.
To moms who aren’t afraid to admit that sometimes it’s really freaking hard.
To moms who fall in love all over again every time they see their child.
To moms who have amazing partners and to those who don’t.
To women who dread Mother’s Day because it’s another reminder of how they aren’t moms.
And finally, to my own mom, who lost her own mom on Mother’s Day, and who has given me immeasurable love and the world’s best example of how to do this amazing, incredible and terrifying job. I love you.
And now, some sage words from a great mom, Tina Fey from her book Bossypants — a prayer for her daughter. If you haven’t read this, go get it!
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 Bea……uty.
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.