I have many hopes and dreams for my toddler son. When I look at his sweet, innocent little face, I pray that he will somehow defy all odds of ever being hurt by anyone, ever. I also pray that he won’t be the only thirty-five-year-old executive toting a sippy cup around in his briefcase.
While health and happiness are the first and foremost desires I have for him, as I spend more time on this earth, there are other hopes and dreams that creep in as close runners up. Like, may he never try to squeeze a bumblebee in his hand. May he take joy in exploring and wandering without becoming a drifter. May he always be as in awe of his daddy as he is right now.
May he never appear on Tosh.0. May he never be showcased as a Web Redemption, nor as a YouTube sensation. May he never be known for jumping from a garage roof into a tiny pool. May his big break as an internet star never come from taking a railing to the groin, nor from eating pavement doing any number of tricks on a long board, skateboard, or random piece of cardboard.
Should he ever attend a State Fair, may his activities go unrecorded, so that they may not then live on the internet for eternity. Should he ever engage in amateur film-making, may he have the good sense to obtain a register and copyright, and should his friends ever wish to make ill-advised recordings of any questionable activities, may he never be the one in front of nor behind the camera. Amen.
May he never be a victim, nor a bully. May he never fall prey to another’s mean-spirited comments, jokes, jabs, or dirty looks. May his ebullient spirit be ever vigilant against schoolyard bullies, lunchroom tyrants, classroom troublemakers, internet trolls, workplace harassers, nasty supervisors, crooked law enforcement officials, dirty politicians, and disgruntled customer service representatives.
May his smile never dim, his heart never flounder, and his confidence never dip. May he ever be the one who shines a light where there is darkness, and may he always walk a path lit by his own joyful tenacity.
May he never be the one who intentionally strikes fear in the hearts and minds of others. May he have an understanding of his weaknesses as well as those of others so that he may show empathy. May he sit next to the shy kid in the cafeteria, stand up for the one being teased on the bus, and get to know the one who’s new in town.
May he gently pet animals, and put the SPCA on speed dial. May he be humane enough to remove the plastic rings from the beach, but wise enough to remain in his car and let the professionals rescue the geese on the interstate.
May he take an interest in whatever song rings in his heart. May he find joy in exercising his body as well as his mind. Be it soccer, cross country skiing, running, karate, kite-flying, hopscotch, bicycling, billiards, or swimming, let him find the activity that will forever remind him of the light, carefree days of childhood.
Let him spend hours building a house of cards, watching earthworms, learning bird calls, building sand castles, and reading books. Though the siren song of iPads and video games may be strong, let him set foot in a library at least once of his own volition.
May he find his true calling and excel at it. May he do work that he values, but never wrap up all of his value in his work. May he forever stay out of true danger.
May he know how to care for others as well as himself. May he find a way to be a welcome sign but never a doormat, and should he ever need to recharge, may he remember that his mama’s door is always open.
Inspired by Tina Fey’s “Prayer for Her Daughter”