In honor of the fact that I will spend this day far, far away from my firstborn (and I am unabashedly thrilled about this turn of events), I give you two untraditional reflections for a day devoted to mothering.
The first is from Tina Fey, whom I find hysterial. This selection from her book Bossypants – “A Mother’s Prayer for Her Daughter” – recently made the rounds on the Inter.net. If you haven’t read it yet, do your dark and cynically hilarious side a treat and click here. An excerpt to tempt you:
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches…
When the Cry.stal Me.th is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half. And stick with Beer…
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.
Ah, the all-too-truths of that prayer. HA.
The second is a bit more bittersweet and melancholy, but it’s a wonderful poem – written from the perspective of a grown man who has lost his mother and reflects on the strange ordinariness of life pushing on when a loved one dies. Ted Kooster’s poem Mother arrived in my inbox courtesy of The Writer’s Almanac, where you can read the poem in its entirety. Another excerpt to tempt you; I love the last three lines:
You asked me if I would be sad when it happened
and I am sad. But the iris I moved from your house
now hold in the dusty dry fists of their roots
green knives and forks as if waiting for dinner,
as if spring were a feast. I thank you for that.
Were it not for the way you taught me to look
at the world, to see the life at play in everything,
I would have to be lonely forever.
May you celebrate today in gratitude for all the mothering spirits who taught you to see the life at play in everything.
…she writes giddily, skipping off to play for three whole days sans stroller, diaper, or sippy cup…