Inspired by the almighty Tina Fey, Alan Kercinik issues up a prayer for his sons.
I have an admission about Tina Fey. She’s one of the few celebrities I would actually geek out over if we met.
Toward the end of Bossypants, she writes a prayer about what she hopes for her daughter. Her prayer inspired me to write one of my own, a father’s prayer to his sons. (I have two.)
I know enough to know you can’t plan things to ‘go viral’. But, I hope against hope this does. That Tina sees it and asks me to write her next movie. Or sends me a cease-and-desist. As long as she signs it in her own hand.
First, Lord: No bling. No fake tan. No hair product. No going by a name that sounds the same as a character in an 80s-era fighting game on Nintendo.
May he be Handsome and not Vain, for it’s the Vanity that draws the eye of damaged girls with abandonment issues who burn down houses, not the Handsome.When he is offered beer by his friends the night of his junior high graduation, may he remember how much he likes juice and say no thank you. Then wait until he is 16 to get drunk and call me to pick him up, like all good boys do.
when he’s thinking about sticking a fork in an outlet to see what will happen, when he’s jumping his bike off a shoddily constructed ramp in the middle of the forest preserve, when riding his scooter, skateboard, hovercraft or whatever other dangerous mode of transport he will use before he is old enough to text and drive, when he ties the cape around his neck and decides to jump first from the couch, then from the roof of our house, and whenever, especially whenever, he gets that gleam in his eye because he just came up with a really cool idea involving knives and cherry bombs.
Lead him away from Investment Management but not all the way to the dangerous heroism of Fireman. Something where he can feel a sense of accomplishment without having the majority of America accusing him of ruining the country. And something where he can feel independence and autonomy in the rightness of his own decisions without having to wear a suit and tie.
What would that be, Lord? Carpentry? Software design? Tap dancing?
May he accept the quest to rescue every videogame princess who ever lived pixelated life, and feel satisfied by that, so that he does not feel the need to live his life trying to rescue the troubled girls, who are often just that: trouble.
so he achieves independence without screaming, angry rebellion.
and Adulthood is long
and the search for dark places to make out can wait.
so that his first look at a naked woman isn’t from the glow of my laptop when we’re at dinner,
but from the pages of a thrown – away Playboy, the way You intended.
May he be curious and interested in the world.
May he love to learn.
May he enjoy books and movies and both types of humor,
Three Stoogian and Wes Andersonian.
May he never be referred to as, “that guy.”And when one day he decides he is a man and says Fuck You, Dad,
give me the strength to not rise to the taunt
and the stillness that tells him how profoundly disappointed in him I am.
For I will not take that Shit. But I will never, ever hit him.
Give him the example to respect women
and love his mother,
and to enjoy and appreciate their differences from men
so that he wants to have healthy relationships with them.
And so that I do not have to hear while he is away at college
how upsetting it is that he doesn’t call.
Should he choose to be a Father someday, be my ears, Lord, so that when his back hurts from carrying his sleeping kid from the backseat to bed, or his hands stink from wiping vomit off of his shirt, or he is tired from waking up at 4 in the morning for a feeding and then having to wake up two hours later for work, let my son say, “Thanks, Dad. I love you, too,” softly and under his breath.
For that is good enough for me.