Sunday, September 25, 2011

She Will Be Loved

I wanted to get down some thoughts about my daughter, Leah. She just started 3rd grade & is growing up faster than I care to admit!
She has morphed into a sweet, loving, responsible young lady. Not  that she hasn't always been our sweet girl, she has; but we definitely had our share of troubled times with her. She is very head-strong & determined; independent & self-assured. All of these are qualities that I know we will cherish- they are just hard to deal with when parenting a toddler or young child.
She just told us yesterday that we treat her like a baby because we would not allow her to bike ride through the neighborhood without an adult. She is only 8!! I realize that we will have to give her more "growing room" soon, but I don't know that I am ready to do that just yet. Before I know it, she'll be a teenager & will want nothing to do with me. I remember those days very well. Mom was not to be seen; merely a means for money & transportation when needed.
She has truly amazed me in the last couple of years. She is a great student; very independent, yet willing to listen to our advise; her manners are improving by great strides; she is extremely athletic & agile; she is a good friend & a kind person. Our hard work is paying off. And to think that some days I thought it was all inane!

"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 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, Bossypants


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