Without wishing to cause offence, there are certain things that I’ve always been dead against – mean spiritedness, sniffing and bottom cleavage to name a few – but top of my growing list has been the long- term dread of either of my children getting a tattoo.
When your children are younger, naturally you get the final say on piercings and curfews, but you know you’re on borrowed time.
Favourite Daughter has had a fantastic belly button piercing for years – I dreaded it, and then after the big reveal , I just felt a pang of jealousy that I’d never be brave enough to direct some navel gazing in my own direction . (Chop-logic really as no-one would see a piercing on me as it would snuggle neatly within the folds of my well-nourished muffin top). Then came daughter’s additional ear piercings, and I just faked derision over these, because again they looked really good, and even I had been rebellious enough to have an additional hole pierced in one ear during my undergraduate years – so what, if I had let it heal over once I started wearing a suit to work? I believe I was lower case rebellious once.
Naturally I feed my fear of tattoos with horror stories aplenty – both from the students I teach, and from friends of my own children – tattoos that had seemed a good idea on a drunken Gap Year adventure, were always (in my opinion) going to be sketchy, infected or just plain naff on their return. My son’s friend still sports the name of some random bloke on his left butt cheek. He met the chap in a Bali bar, lost a drinking competition and in the morning couldn’t remember why he had his name tattooed on his rump. At least he can’t see it (and apparently it’s spelt wrong, anyway).
Back to Favourite daughter (currently travelling in Bali and the Philippines). She warned me it was just a matter of time before T Day would arrive, and then suddenly, this week was to be the week. I used one last FaceTime to fear monger about infected needles and shoddy artwork, but I could tell I’d met my match. She even said it was connected to me and I snorted that she wasn’t to blame any fancy tattoo sleeve on Mama J.
I asked to see a photo and waited, trying not to conjure up memories of her peachy toddler skin or to think ahead to saggy inkings.
I was wrong.
I love it.
Not only has she chosen a symbol linked back to childhood readings and family repeatings of, ‘I love you to the moon and back’, but she’s also had the wisdom to position it besides the birthmark on her foot – something else I gave her, and something else that makes her unique and beautiful.
So, another prejudice punctured. It’s becoming that sort of year.
I’ve texted Favourite Son and suggested that we both get the same tattoo. He hasn’t answered yet, but it’s giving me time to think where I can position mine without risking a total eclipse on this 50+ canvas.