But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins.
– Mitch Albom, “For One More Day”
Here at Be Your Own Muse, some of the most museworthy women we know are mothers, and we are lucky enough to call two of these lovely women our own. To celebrate the empowerment, unconditional love and support, friendship, and protection that our mothers have given us, and continue to give us, we’d like to share an excerpt from the hilarious Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants. Take some time out of your day today to show your mom how much you love and appreciate her.
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.
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.
For your listening pleasure:
For some musical inspiration, check out the crazy unique French-Cuban duo Ibeyi, composed of twin sisters Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz. They sing in both English and Yoruba, which is the Nigerian language of their ancestors. Their sound is an awesome mix of soul, R&B, electronic, infused with Yoruban chants and Cuban percussion instruments. Check out their feature on NPR’s World Cafe – definitely worth a listen.
Editor’s note: We’re working on some new weekly features and we’d love to know your thoughts! Keen for some music and book recommendations? Other blogs or websites? Let us know what inspires you, in any way, shape, or form and we’ll do our best to get it on the site!