I waited 38 years to get my first tattoo. In general, I’m kind of an all-or-nothing girl. If I don’t think I can do something big, I don’t want to do it at all. Like my blog, for example. I really only have time to make one post per week, but I said I wasn’t going to do it unless I could post at least 4-5 times/week. It was like that with the decision to get a tattoo. Most have been shocked by the size of my tattoo, considering it is my first. But, if I was going to do it, I wanted to really do it! A two-inch butterfly on my left butt cheek wasn’t going to cut it. So, why now, you ask?
- I never had something I was passionate enough about to take this step.
- I never before had the confidence to say, “I truly do not care what anyone else thinks, except my husband and my kids.”
So, my husband and I decided we would do it together—his first time, too. Both of our tattoos represent our family. My husband’s is a compilation of the zodiac signs of each of the kids and me (Saggitarius, two Leos, and a Virgo) on the inside of his forearm.
My inspiration—besides my kids—came from The Little Golden Books from the 1940s. My dad and aunt had a collection from when they were children, and recently passed them onto me and my brothers. I fell in love with the illustrations and knew that style, applied to my children’s animal representations, would make a beautiful storybook scene for my left shoulder blade.
|My Storybook Tattoo|
From very early in each child’s life, we labeled them as a type of animal. My 4-year-old is our monkey—at first because of his hairy shoulders and ear shape, but since then by his silly behavior and his ability to wrap his body around you so tight you don’t even feel like you are holding anything. My 4-year-old daughter is our turtle—at first because of this certain way she would lift her head and look at us when she was about 2-3 months old, but since then by her laid-back demeanor. My 14-month-old son is our bear, which was clear from day one with his growly sounds—sounds he still makes as he is falling asleep or grabbing onto his loved ones for deep snuggles and kisses. His huge bear paws for hands and his meaty and strong body type do not at all take away from this likeness. The “22” was snuck in to represent my husband. That is his “number” for all you sports fans out there.
So that’s the story of my first tattoo. I am still not cool to society. I still drive a minivan and live in suburbia. But, my kids think I’m cool, and I’m going to hold onto that as long as I possibly can.
Special thanks to The Reluctant Missy, another kick-ass mom of three--who blogs about music, ink, and sass--for the referral, advice, and friendship. And, to Adam Marton at River City Tattoo in Richmond, VA, for his professionalism and for creating this masterpiece that, thankfully, only took two hours.