Tuesday, May 10, 2011


My Mother's Day was at once perfect and flawed. It was perfect in that I lazed around, had breakfast with some beautiful girls and a leisurely stroll through the garden store.

It was flawed in that no excited children woke me up way too early, those beautiful girls were not my children and that leisurely stroll was strangely lonely.

I think Sunday embodied my difficult relationship with "joint legal and physical custody".

I am a better Mother today than I ever was when I was a wife/mother/maid/nanny/housekeeper. When I was weighed down by the day in and day out monotony. When I isolated myself from the rest of the world. When every move I made was tinged by the guilt of not financially supporting my family. When my contribution was made to feel like nothing.

Today I have dreams. Goals. Hope. I feel known. Heard. Loved.

Yet...I can barely stand the loss of knowledge. Constant contact. Oversight for every single thing that happens in their precious young lives. I worked so hard to do things right. To help them become successful human beings. To live their childhood so fully and beautifully. And now they spend 5 out of 10 days without me. And I wonder. What do they do? Think? Feel? Are they scared? Do they miss me? Are they happy? Are they learning those life lessons that I so desperately want them to?

I ran across an article that I loved because it made me laugh but somehow explained what I needed to embrace.
Yes it is hard to not know. But in the long run I am setting an example of how a woman should live her life.

A Mother's Prayer For Her Child by 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