Monday, April 18, 2011

My response to Tina Fey: "Prayer for A Son"

If you haven't read Tiny Fey's "Prayer for a Daughter" is it imperative that you click over and read it now. In fact, I give you full permission to not come back.

You still here?

I was serious. You really need to read it. 

(Okay. I guess you're back. Thanks, Mom.) 

This was a brilliant piece, and I could totally relate to it, except for the whole having-a-daughter-thing. So, while I would never dream of wearing Tina Fey's Bossypants, I will provide this homage, for all those mothers of sons.

Prayer for a Son

Oh, Lord, please nerd this kid up. Not so much that he is writing manifestos (leave that to his mother), but enough that he knows the middle names of Star Wars characters.

Lead him, dear Lord, to band camp, chess club, scouts, and cross country.

Give him friends who are socially inept, so they may form a dorky tribe. Preferably in my house, away from the drugs and hot-rodders.

May he have friends that are girls, so that when he has a girlfriend, he remembers, and pauses.

And, oh Sweet Jesus, keep him away from Ed Hardy, gold chains, dirt bikes, mesh t-shirts, and styling gel.

Teach him to like math. Life is so much easier when you can count and stuff.

Please, Lord. If you insist that he thinks of sex every moment of the day, help him to fake it. My nerves cannot take it.

Help him to understand the intricate design of the washing machine, dishwasher, and toilet seat, so that his future wife will hate me a little bit less.

Give me strength, for there will be days that his heart will be broken, and he will not talk to me about it. He will wait for his father, and this will tear me in half.

Dear Lord, I know my sons will tower over me. At some point, they will use the top of my head as a table. Give me a sense of humor about this.

And in all seriousness, Lord: Help me always to see their father's kindness in their eyes.

Give them gentle strength, so that when it's finally okay to hug me again, they will.


Jessica said...

Oh I feel your pain, there are so many things about my boys growing up that I don't even want to think about. And becoming a mother-in-law? Our daughters in law with love us right?

Matty said...

I love the humor in both your prayers. Having raised both daughters and sons, I can appreciate all your concerns. Hang in there mom, the ride ain't over yet.

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

Love your prayer (and Tina's).
I have daughters and a son so I think I may post both on my fridge.

Elise said...


i love your "selfish" blogging ;)

TKW said...

Tina's prayer is awesome, as is yours.

And so timely. My stepson was caught smoking the Evil Weed in a friend's car at the prom this weekend. Ah, so proud. *cringe*

Mel said...

Well, I've got one of each, so I loved both prayers. Mostly I pray to keep my sense of humor intact through all this, as I become perpetually confused by the changes around me. They can both use the top of my head as a table now, and it's hard to maintain the illusion of authority when you're the smallest one in the house! I still have a lot of teen parenting years left to get through before my work here is done. Thanks for this great post.

Ms. Moon said...

What a great, great prayer.
I heard Tina read hers on NPR the other day and yours is just as wonderful.

Ratz said...

Lovely post Nancy.

Although, I would tilt to have a girl any time of the year. But now and then, I wonder a boy in the house is interesting itself.

Anonymous said...

I love this Nancy, and it's not so different from the things I wished for my sons...and now grandsons.
Your line, "Give me strength, for there will be days that his heart will be broken, and he will not talk to me about it..." really hit home with me, and it will you, too, when he's older. One of my sons did call me upon his first big heartbreak (in college...late bloomer) and we cried together. I still get a lump in my throat when I think about that call.
I always jokingly told my sons the only thing I really ever wanted for them is to "stay out of jail". They know those are Mom's love words for just be happy. We're all kinda weird.

tulpen said...

He can be friends with my son. He's got the social ineptness down pat.

Unknown Mami said...

You need to frame that and hang it on the wall.

LB said...

LOVE your prayer! And I'm off to buy "Bossypants" right now!

Kim said...

Love your version! You could have have been speaking for me.

I think all the time of ways I'm going to work hard to make their girlfriends/wives like me. I'm trying to create good karma by loving my mother-in-law as much as I can. Because I'll tell you this, I'll be a stalker with those grandchildren. You'll need a restraining order to keep me away.

Anonymous said...

Love it!

My kids are well on their way to Nerdtown but there's still puberty to get through. I'm hoping we all survive.

Anonymous said...

As I look forward to making my boy my own... Amen!

Victoria KP said...

I got a little teary eyed. My oldest boy reaches my shoulder already... at 8. Our kids should totally hang out--Owen definitely knows the middle names of all the Star Wars characters (and probably their favorite colors as well!).

CDG @ Move Over Mary Poppins! said...

thank you for the point to the Tina Fey, and for this.

I have these same wishes for my Small Boy!

Bethany said...

I read yours not hers, too lazy..
And I just started reading your April 14th post, I getcha. You don't have to worry about reading me. I'm not writing. Fun to just flit around and have no pressure.
You're a fantastic writer Nancy.
And you have a huge heart.

Julie said...

Loved this post. Because I have both a boy and a girl.

And feel these prayers deeply.


Anonymous said...

My child towers over me, but still gives hugs.

When he was a toddler, I prayed that he would love D&D and become a true nerd. He almost succeeded... but then middle school happened.

I have faith that your sons will be high achievers. xo

MamaRobinJ said...

I love this. It's way better than Tina Fey's. I thought she had some good stuff to say but it was more funny than good. This nicely captures a mother's wish for her son while still showing how much love there is behind those desires.

StarTraci said...

Oh dear, Tina Fey had me crying! And now you! I have one of each so I am saying both prayers. And yes, Ms. NancyPants, I am putting you in league with Tina Fey. I always have.

Happy Sunday.


Andrea (ace1028) said...

I'm sorry, I read yours first. ;) I'll read Tina's later! I loved it. Great prayer. Very open, raw and real.

Ash said...

It must be the lack of sleep, because I'm all weepy over this.

Or maybe it's your brilliant words and how you finally wrote down what I feel every day - "Give them gentle strength, so that when it's finally okay to hug me again, they will."


Off to check my Oldest out of school early.

Erin said...

I'm in love with Tina Fey and haven't read her prayer, but I wanted to finish your post and comment FIRST. Because I'm awesome like that.

Cracking up over Ed Hardy and hair gel. And AMEN to the dorky tribe (I'm a card-carrying member myself, obvs).


Erin said...

Love this.... My 1st thought....Mesh T-shirts????? Do they still make those?

Anyhow, I think I need to recite this nightly!

Kir said...

that was so beautiful...and funny and smart and honest.
I just hope they know everyone on Law & order..that's not too much to ask is it???

Lulabelle said...

Cross country is for nerds?!