Tina Fey’s “A Mother’s Prayer for Her Daughter”

Expectant-mom and “30 Rock” star Tina Fey wrote a hilarious and touching prayer for her 5-year-old daugher Alice in her memior Bossypants. We thought it was too funny not to share:

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.

Guide 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.

Amen.

 


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  1. by Urja Dave

    On May 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    too funny!!!

  2. by Carmen

    On May 6, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I am just not into a “prayer to God” with several cuss words in it. Sorry, thumbs down by me.

  3. by NotJustAnotherJennifer

    On May 6, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Ha ha! I MUST get this book. Great prayer!!

  4. by Wilson Family Adventures

    On May 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Is there one that that for sons?

  5. by Kandybarm

    On May 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Agree with Carmen. There are a lot of ways to be funny – this just wasn’t one for me.

  6. by Ashley

    On May 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    The God I pray to knows I swear when I feel strongly about something and that I wear the same sweat pants several times a week and that sometimes I’d rather drive to McDonalds (again!) than drag my kids to the grocery store for something healthy. The God I love knows I’m entirely flawed (for He made me) and He loves me anyway. And so when I swear during prayer, and I often do because when I pray I’m venting to my best friend, and He doesn’t judge. He just listens. And if I’m lucky, He grants me a few of my insane but still heart felt requests.

  7. by Candice

    On May 6, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Calm down, folks. It’s not a real prayer, it’s a joke.

  8. by Melanie

    On May 6, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    So you thought that a prayer where it is blaspheming the very One she is supposedly “praying” to is “too funny not to share”? BAD move on your part, Parents. I thought this was supposed to be a G-rated magazine?!

  9. by Sandy

    On May 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    When will people learn to lighten up on their obsession with god and just get a DAMN sense of humor? she’s being humorous, and if she wants to swear in her own prayer to god then SHE will have to face judgement when her time comes. freedom of speech people….deal with it and pull the religious splintered stick out your butts.

  10. by MICHELLE

    On May 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    OH THOSE’S THAT DON’T AGREE WITH IT ARE JUST PLAIN BORING! SORRY IF YOU NEVER FOUND YOURSELF CURSING A LETTER TO GOD ABOUT EITHER SOMETHING YOUR CHILDREN HAVE DONE TO PISS YOU OFF, OR SOMETHING THAT HAS EITHER JUST PISSED YOU OFF OR FOUND YOURSELF THINKING SOMETHING FUNNY TO GOD WITH CURSE WORDS IN IT ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN! STOP COMPLAINING ALL THE TIME ABOUT STUPID SHIT

  11. by Robin sterling

    On May 7, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I LOVE the prayer! It is real.. For those of you to stuffy to realize, I don’t want to hear it when your perfect child who has been sheltered his whole life is now list in a sea of crime while my realistic intelligent child is well versed about the world, has just received his third degree! There always has to be someone to ruin a good thing!!

  12. by DragonSlayerMama

    On May 7, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    My child has autism. I have cursed and praised Him in the same prayer. If He made me and He made my child- then He gets it. He also gets why I have such conflict believing in Him on days when my child has a six inch long needle plunged into his spine overandoverandover again and He forgives me for it. Pain is real. Anger is human and forgiveness is Divine.

    Chill, people.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all. May it be a day full of love and laughter.

    PEACE!

  13. by T

    On May 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Brilliant every mother only wants their child to have it all . I want one for boys too

  14. by Jen Grant

    On May 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Made me laugh, then brought a tear to my eye

  15. by P

    On May 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Sounds so much like my own. And for people who are bothered by the cussing get a DAMN life God has heard it before in many parents prayers if you can’t be yourself while talking to God then you don’t need to be talking to him

  16. by wendi

    On May 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    i agree Carmen! and can you pray and cuss?

  17. by A Guy

    On May 9, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    She forgot to include, “And when people don’t her jokes or her sense of humor, give her the confident strength to know those people are lame.”

  18. by Kelly

    On May 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Cool it, people. Since you’re obviously so perfect and godly, you shouldn’t even be reading a parenting magazine, for you have all the answers, right? For the rest of us imperfect humans, we’ll enjoy it and know that Tina faces all the ups and downs we do in everyday life. Shame on you for be “holier than thou.”

  19. by Paulina

    On May 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    What did you expect though she’s a comedian. It served it’s purpose it’s entertaining and I’m sure her daughter will read it someday and laugh.

  20. by Elias's Mommy

    On May 13, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Tina Fey is a realist, she’s a comedian, she’s amazing. There is a reason why she’s one of the most successful women in show-business. She’s relatable to 95% of mothers out there and I’m not going to totally ignore that because of a few swear words. I’m quite sure her “real” prayers aren’t like this. It’s just what a lot of mothers are thinking. I love it, I’m going to share it with my friends who have daughters. The rest of you need to chill the hell out. Oops, I swore :P

  21. by Shawna

    On May 21, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    This is very funny, and very real. We all just want them to grow up happy, healthy and safe. And we all feel somewhat powerless to make sure that happens. Can’t wait to read the rest of the book!

  22. by mary jean

    On June 29, 2011 at 12:04 am

    oh god i love tina fey. this made me nod and cry and want to go put my daughters in my pants pocket forever.

  23. by Barbie has a tattoo? Really? | PARENTise

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  24. by The World According to Rena

    On March 1, 2012 at 5:32 pm

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  25. by RemembeRED: Prayer for a Son « Nancy M. Campbell

    On March 20, 2012 at 6:02 am

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  26. by Bossypants | bartoncottagelibrary

    On March 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    [...] She also did a lovely chapter on ‘The Mother’s Prayer for its Daughter’, which you can find here. [...]

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    [...] the $1 billion dollar OMG sale of Instagram to Facebook, Tina Fey’s wonderfully funny Prayer for her Daughter, and the poor Ridiculously Photogenic Guy who now wants the world to leave him alone, I’ve [...]

  28. [...] Since that piece brings me to tears each time I read it, I thought I’d include a good laugh too. If you’ve never read Tina Fey’s “A Mother’s Prayer For Her Daughter,” you’re missing out. You really are. Fey asks in the poem, ” 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.” The rest is equally hilarious. [...]

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  34. by Brittany

    On October 2, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Hilarious and so true! I think we’ve all said a similar”prayer”for our children, whether male or female. For the peopl who respond so negatively, get a freakin life please. Find a sense of humor or just go away please.

  35. by Adrienne

    On January 31, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    So great. I’ve had very similar wishes for my own daughter! & good god people, the woman is a COMEDIAN. If you’re so touchy about god-things you probably shouldn’t read a COMEDIAN’s prayer.
    Get a sense of humor. Sheesh.

  36. by after 18 months « years of jubilee

    On February 5, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    [...] the line give me just one part of you to cling to was hard to listen to. I read Tina Fey’s prayer for her daughter and the last lines, while funny, were like a punch in the gut. So my grief is very much still a [...]

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  38. by Two Week Wonder | Live. Love. Adventure!

    On March 21, 2013 at 8:39 am

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  39. [...] the end of Bossypants, she writes a prayer about what she hopes for her daughter. Her prayer inspired me to write one of my own, a [...]

  40. by Suzanne Clune

    On March 23, 2013 at 12:43 am

    I laughed and thought of my mom and my friends that are moms and this prayer or poem might be a better phrasing not to upset the religious righteous. It is a out life choices which mean more than words spoken that really matter.

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  55. [...] for the grand finale: an excerpt from Tina Fey’s “A Mother’s Prayer for Her Daughter” And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, [...]

  56. [...] in case you need a little extra Tina Fey awesomeness, here’s “A Mother’s Prayer for Her Daughter,” excerpted from Bossypants. Share this:StumbleUponFacebookTwitterPinterestEmailLike this:Like [...]

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  61. by Happy Mother’s Day

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