Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Prayer for My Alaskan Daughter, with Apologies to Tina Fey

Tina Fey is one of my writing idols, and I love her "prayer for a daughter." I was speaking with a friend recently, and felt inspired to do an Alaska-based parody of it, since the prayers of an Alaska mom might differ a little from mothers in other parts of the country or world.

First, Lord: No Commercial Crab Fishing. I know it's badass. But may neither a lucrative crew gig nor the Discovery Channel beckon her to the deadly, frigid waters of the Bering Sea or worse, the seedy dive bars of Dutch Harbor.


May she be Adventurous but not Stupid or Unlucky, for it is Stupidity and Bad Luck, combined, that will make her the subject of an Alaska State Trooper aerial search and rescue operation, and subsequent articles in the Alaska Dispatch News.

When the black market prescription Opioids are offered, May she remember the parents who bundled her up in five layers of fleece, put her in a backpack, and took her cross-country skiing next to a glacier, and stick with one can of Alaskan Amber.

Guide her, protect her
When skiing, walking on ice, stepping onto boats, stepping off of boats, hiking in the woods, riding in small planes piloted by amateurs and professionals alike, surprising a cow moose and calf, trail running in the mountains, taking the garbage out in early spring when the bears first emerge from hibernation, looking for the Into the Wild bus like a fucking moron, biking in Denali, working at a drive-through Espresso stand alone late at night, driving to Girdwood on the Seward Highway in winter, handling firearms, crossing the intersection of Tudor and Lake Otis as a pedestrian, sleeping over at that friend's house with the creepy older brother, kayaking in the Brooks Range before all the shelf ice has even melted, and most of all getting into the cab of a pick-up truck with a drunk high school linebacker named Taylor, Austin, or Dakota behind the wheel.

Lead her away from Juneau so she can function on the Outside if she must, but not all the way to Silicon Valley where she will come under the influence of insufferable Stanford hipster tech bros working for a wifi-enabled juicer startup. 

But Lord, at the same time do not lead her back to the Capitol Building only to become a perky indentured servant to some mediocre, self-satisfied douchebag who spends 120 days plotting how to get into her pants when he isn't busy making bad decisions for the rest of us.

May she play the upright bass in a bluegrass band, but not long enough to have the banjo player’s baby before she’s ready, thereby derailing her future plans to go to medical school (with a scholarship) in Seattle or become an artist.

Grant her the patience and charm to sell enough rice krispy treats and raffle tickets to travel to Washington, DC or better yet London with her eighth grade social studies class, for leaving Alaska is very expensive, and I don’t feel like taking her to either of those places anytime soon.

O Lord, give her the common sense and sound judgment not to text naked pictures of herself to anyone, because that shit comes back to haunt you as revenge porn, and you will forever be known in your small Alaskan town as that-girl-who-Snapchatted-her-titties-for-the-yearbook-senior-year.

And when her on-again/off-again boyfriend tells her not to bother applying to college because he will miss her too much and who needs college anyway, give me the strength, Lord, not to call his mother and sound like a snob by telling her I didn’t start a 529 so I could blow its contents on a shotgun wedding on the beach, ya know!

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, heed her prayer, Lord, that she shared with me when she was nine, which was that she wanted to adopt a baby because there are too many babies in the world without loving homes, and she “does not want to be involved with any type of man.” 

Those were her exact words, Lord, I FUCKING SWEAR to You, pardon my French.

Remind her of those words, Lord, and do not let her forget. For while biological grandchildren would be nice, "not being involved with any type of man" is actually a pretty good idea a lot of the time, let's be honest.

Amen.



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