A Mother’s Prayer for Her Baby Girl

by Lesley on May 23, 2011 · 12 comments

in motherhood

I haven’t yet read Tina Fey’s new book, Bossypants, but several friends have forwarded me her essay called A Mother’s Prayer for Her Child (or something like that…) Tonight, Jonathan was joking that he hopes our daughter gets his taste (or lack thereof) for sweets. Our conversation inspired me to write a prayer for our baby, using a similar outline to Tina’s prayer. Here’s my prayer for our baby:

First Lord, give her an ear for music. We both know you didn’t give me the ability to carry a tune, pluck at a guitar or understand the lyrics to popular radio songs.  We need a musician in this house Lord. Let it be her—for everyone’s sake.

May she have a deep faith in you, Jesus, and let her find it on her own. She can doubt Lord, but let her keep coming back to you. I hope she’s just like Katie—who might question over and over but keeps coming to the same conclusion: you are a good God.

When she gets teased in third grade because of her height, give her the confidence to stand up even taller, and to never bend her legs awkwardly in photos so she appears shorter. And if it’s the kid with the piggy nose who makes fun of her, let her be patient with him almost 100% of the time but give her the confidence to know when to call him a pig—because he is one.

Guide her and protect her from teachers who question her talents,  and from athletic coaches that yell too often. Throw a few of these people in her path so she knows how to deal with adversity but not so many that she retreats into herself. Give her challenges God, and show her how to overcome them with patience and grace.

May she always lick the brownie batter bowl regardless of the warnings about salmonella because everyone who licks the brownie bowl knows the guilty joy that rests in such a moment.

Grant her the ability to recognize her own gifts, and to celebrate them, while also being humbled by her failures. When she looks in the mirror, I pray she mostly sees beauty but not so much that she keeps returning to that mirror to stare at her own reflection. Help her see her faults. Help her to look past her own designer jeans and see into the eyes of her neighbors, her co-workers, the homeless.

Oh Lord, give her all the moments a little girl should have…chasing the Newport Beach waves, and occasionally getting knocked over; selling Girl Scout cookies, drinking straight from the hose,  and planting a garden. May she run a lemonade stand and spend all her earnings at the candy store. When she falls asleep with a stomachache, let it be inside a backyard tent, to the sound of a neighbor’s soft piano.

And should she grow up and decide to become a mother, God—I can’t even go there yet. But, should that day come, help me to remember these moments of anticipation, and uncertainty so that I can hold her and say, “You’ll do great. You’ll do great.”

image credit to Vanilla Joy

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10 comments
Katie
Katie

Crying. Big fat tears. I hope the Internet is still around in 13 years so she can find this and realize she has the coolest mom alive. Not that she won't be reading till she's 13. Because I'll be praying that she finds the same joy and adventure we found in books when we were little. But because I think when she's in high school, she'll be rolling her eyes at you a lot. Especially when you sing in church. And it will do her some good to hear how amazing and talented you are and how much you love her. My students just wrote these tributes to either their mom or dad and it's so cute because a common theme is that they all are wildly embarrassed by them in public but they love them so much and appreciate so much about them. I wish I could show their parents these papers and say, "See, they roll their eyes at you but they really, really love you." I love the part of your prayer about the mirror and the awkward bending of her long legs and the pigs and the mean coaches. Oh and the brownie batter and the garden hose...gosh Les, I just loved it all. This was truly wonderful.

Sarah
Sarah

Aw this is one of the loveliest messages I've ever read. Your baby girl is already so blessed.

Dad
Dad

Your beautiful words have captured some of the magic of parenthood. My heart warms knowing how lucky your daughter will be.

Ann Sebek
Ann Sebek

I love this, Lesley. And I love you! xoxoxo

Ashlee
Ashlee

This is beautiful Les. Absolutely beautiful.

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