A Mother's Prayer for Her Teen Daughter

Dear Lord,

Firstly, should we set the record straight here, once and for all? In all your creative capacity, the bringing forth of the world’s greatest and most awe-inspiring highs and equally hideous lows, should You not be addressed as Dear Lady?

Did you not conceive the human race, and I’m thinking particularly teenage girls, in Thine own image?

I think Thy knowest of what I speak, for the female teens are the ones who elevate mere mortals to incredible heights, starting with The Beatles through Justin Bieber (btw, nice going on the recent self-smiting you’ve induced on that sick pup!), onward to “1-D” and beyond.

May my daughter crush equally on girl pop stars too, as even I shed a few tears at the end of Katy Perry’s Part of Me movie. Please dear Lady, allow her the creative vision, drive, generosity, and spirit of Ms. Perry, but never, EVER let her date John Mayer. Apparently he’s back on the market, so now would be the time to grant my child extra protection.

Speaking of never-evers, please never, ever allow her to be on The Bachelor. Although I fervently pray her life is full of red roses (not to mention rainbows and unicorns), I couldn’t even fake being happy if she were to have to fight other women tooth and nail (uhm, literally) for a crack at being mauled on television by a giant douchebag in an arranged marriage situation that sets women’s rights back to the beginnings of time. This is not progress, Lady, and Ye and I both know it.

This is not to say I ask Thee to spare her a spate of crappy boyfriends, because I don’t. For how else will she recognize the Real Deal when the time comes if she has no clue about what she DOESN’T want in a partner? May her list be written one determined evening in the distant future with a BBF at her side and a decent bottle of booze at her disposal.

Also, Lady, please allow her to get her ya-yas out in her youth. That “youth is wasted on the young,” quote was by a guy who had a 45-year unconsummated marriage — no wonder he was bitter! Note the use of the expression, “ya-yas.” I used that purposely, as a cute, light, and fun way to describe what she might do. No hardcore, kinky, or masochistic shit here; just a few beers over a long evening with no chance of her lingering too long at the party if You know what I’m saying, which You do cuz you’re omnipotent.

Back to the teen years now, when growth tends to spurt and ebb, along with manners, common sense, attitude, and civility. At this point I’m gonna switch it up and ask that You shine Your countenance upon me as well. Grant me the strength not to pop her one when she rolls her eyes at me, stomps around the house, slams her door, or screams at me at the top of her lungs as I scream back and violate every bit of positive parenting wisdom from the many “How to Raise the Perfect Child” books that I read religiously when the kids were babies.

And Lady, please make my mother stop laughing. It isn’t funny!

Also in the not funny files is the raging stew of hormones that’s currently boiling in my household. The collision of puberty and perimenopause is quite literally the most toxic brew imaginable; how is it possible that You, in Your infinite wisdom, didn’t see this one coming? Or maybe it’s on me. All I’m saying is you might consider sending a girl a burning bush warning her that there are some consequences to starting a family in your mid 30’s. Not just a bad yeast infection, mind you — I’m talking a full-on Biblical message that would be impossible to misinterpret. Then you could say, “sorry my child, I warned ya,” and that would be true and maybe help assuage the angst just a little bit anyways.

By the way, I beg Thee to alleviate just my most conflicted feelings; please allow my daughter the rite of passage of dwelling in The House of Emotions. The best way to burst through, find herself, and define herself is of course by following the turbulent course of teen moods. Provide her with safe outlets that include good friends, roaring campfires, a harmless Instagram feed featuring cute selfies and pictures of puppies and kittens, and a journal that she keeps somewhere that nobody else (except me) can find.

Grant her at least a couple of juicy opportunities to sling just the right zinger at a mean girl or other foe.

Allow her strength to get through Algebra I, II, and (Lady Forbid) any form of calculus.

Is there a Divine form of bubble wrap? If so, I pray that you encase her with it at all times, particularly when she drives a car, plays sports, crosses a busy street, goes to parties, swims in the ocean, rides a bike (which I never taught her to so I guess her safety or lack thereof is on me), goes on dates, travels by plane, boat, bus, train, or car, has her first job, her first kiss, her first break-up… wrap it up, Lady. Externals all the way to the proverbial heart and soul.

I pray that You allow her to get through the teen years relatively unscathed, but also without doing any major early blooming, as peaking at 17 is just a bummer of Biblical proportions.

And at the end, just before she turns 20 when I take her out for a nice sushi dinner preceded by a mani-pedi, allow us a moment in twin vibrating chairs when we share a knowing look that the tumultuous teen years are behind us (not to mention menopause), and together we shall breathe a collective sigh of relief.

But please don’t rush that time, dear Lady. For it has already flown by so fast, and a blink ago she was a kick to my ribs, a sleepy lump strapped on me in a Baby Bjorn, a tiny sprite crawling out of her crib at just 18 months, a sweet toddler tearing through the house, a gaping grin with no front teeth, a little girl playing with dolls, kicking a soccer ball, swinging a softball bat, playing in a piano recital, doing “hip hop,” a grade school graduate, and now here we are.

#Blessed. I mean it.

(Oh, Lady, thanks too for creating Tina Fey, for it is her legendary “A Mother’s Prayer for Her Daughter,” from Bossypants that inspired this post. May my own daughter rock as hard and be as prolific as Ms. Fey.)

Forever your girl, XO Bitch’in Suburbia

mother’s prayermotherhoodparentingteen daughterTina Fey