Borrowed prayer

I know this has been plastered all over the internets but until I can find my own words for this day, the day marking Zoey’s first anniversary as a participant in this world of ours,  I’m going to borrow from 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 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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2 responses to “Borrowed prayer

  1. Happy 1st birthday, Zoey…as we fast forward ahead!

    “Plans” by Stuart Dischell

    She plans to be a writer one day and live in the City of Paris,
    Where she will describe the sun as it rises over Buttes-Chaumont.
    “Today the dawn began in small pieces, sharp wedges of light
    Broke through the clouds.” She plans to write better than this
    And is critic enough to know “sharp wedges” sound like cheese.
    She plans to live alone in a place that has a terrace
    Where she will drink strong coffee at a round white table.
    Her terrace will be her cafe and she will be recognized
    By the blue-smocked workers of the neighborhood, the concierges,
    The locals at the comptoir of the tabac down the block,
    And the girl under the green cross of the apothecary shop.
    She plans to love her apartment where she will keep
    Just one flower in a blue vase. She already loves the word apart-
    Ment, whose halves please her when she sees them breaking
    The line in her journal. She plans to learn the roots
    Of French and English words and will search them out
    As if she were hunting skulls in the catacombs.
    On her walls she’ll hang a timetable of the great events
    Of Western History. She will read the same twenty books
    As Chaucer. Every morning she will make up stories….
    She looks around her Brighton room, at the walls,
    The ceiling, the round knob of the rectangular door.
    She listens to the voices of the neighbor’s children.
    A toilet flushes, then the tamp of cigarette on steel,
    The flint flash of her roommate’s boyfriend’s lighter.
    When she leaves she plans to leave alone, and every
    Article she will carry, each shoe, will be important.
    Like an architect she will plan this life, as once
    The fortune in a cookie told her: Picture what you wish
    To become, if you wish to become that picture.

    We love you!!!! AJ

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