Letter to my daughter…..via Tina Fey

I have seen a fair number of tattoos this past week. No judgment. Just stating a fact. And each time I see another one I am reminded of this wonderful quote 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 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.”

― Tina Fey, Bossypants


To my beautiful (inside and out), amazing, incredible daughter Britta and ALL the OTHER wonderful women in my life…..I LOVE YOU!!


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  1. brenna says

    I am pregnant with my first child and we just found out this weekend that its a girl! This brought tears to my eyes thinking about how much i love her already and cant wait for all the future holds for my darling little girl. Thanks for sharing.

  2. vonda says

    I think I am stunned, and disappointed. I have been following your blog for a time now. In the first few lines of this “letter/prayer” I was in awe, because I have not had a high opinion of Tina Fey in the past, but seemed to gain respect and then WOW, what a let down. I would NEVER pray this prayer for my daughter. It is a shame to even encourage it. It does nothing to ask for God’s protection for your child and then curse the very God you are praying to. It is a joke and a mockery of the very God Who you are asking for protection from. Why would someone “pray” for their daughter and curse the very God she is praying to? In case someone missed it, “Youdammit” is quite offensive. Jillee – I looked forward to my daily updates from your blog. However, I have to quit following something that is so very offensive to the center of my heart and soul.

    • Jacqueline says

      Yes, Vonda, thank you. There is absence of reverence in this letter/prayer. I have quit following.

  3. Deborah Jennings says

    I love this! Wish I had had it before they were grown and married. Their children are from 21 – 2-1/2 years old now. But since I have granddaughters, I may just have to send it to them. =) Thank you for this. BTW, my youngest, (38 years young) has a tatoo on her lower back. A tramp stamp is what they call it, but not what it says. LOL

  4. Elizabeth says

    Thanks for sharing this with us! This is exactly what I pray for my two sons (maybe with a little word change here or there). I pray this for all kids, girls and boys! ♥

  5. says

    That wish resonates for me as a grandparent. My daughters made it through and are beautiful women! Now, I get to pray my grand daughters through life. The fun never ends ;)