This was written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the prompt was to basically write what you wanted, but you had to end it with a question. If you happened to get an exclamation point in there, even better; I think I have 3 (I like them far too much and I usually have to delete most of them when I write blog posts). Once again, what I started out to write morphed into something else entirely, but I’m not sad about it. It’s one of my favorite stories and I love telling it. I hope you enjoy, even if you don’t like tattoos all that much.
As yesterday was tattoo day for me, my mind has been on tattoos and what they mean and how they affect you. Perhaps not as much as when I first got the outline two months ago, but it’s still something I’m thinking about. I’ve wanted to get a tattoo for many years now, but it was always out of my financial reach (those suckers are not cheap!) and I wanted to find that thing that I wanted to live with for the rest of my life; something that meant something and wasn’t just “a thing” to put on my body. Everyone is different. Not everyone needs their tattoo to mean something and some people have just offered up their body as a canvas for art in whatever form. I’m not here to judge anyone. I believe tattoos are art and I think it is another form of self-expression that… let’s just say I think it’s ridiculous that society has such shitty labels for tattooed people.
For me, it was finding just the right thing and my daughter is the one who came up with the idea and we have pretty similar tattoos.
To start at the beginning, I read a children’s book to Adelle when she was young. It was a gift for either when she was born or one of her birthdays. In between moving several times and the numerous cleanings and thrift runs to minimize the stuff in her room, the book was lost. Years later, my son came home from school and told me his teacher had asked parents to volunteer to read their favorite children’s story to their class and talk about reading and their favorite books. I just had to to it. I love books and reading (obviously).
I remembered the book I read to Adelle, only I couldn’t remember the name of it or the author. The only thing I could remember was it had something to do with love and a baby growing up. I went to the bookstore with very little hope of finding this book, but I thought I would give it a try. I walked to the back and found all their children’s books in a huge book shelf at least six shelves high and I just started scanning the titles. I picked a few out and put them back. On the very last shelf I actually found it!
I’ve heard mixed reviews of this book, but I happen to love it. I think – well, I’m not here to give a review of the book. Needless to say I bought it and took it home. When the kids got home from school, we were all sitting around in the living room just talking and hanging out when I remembered.
I said, “Adelle, do you remember that book I read to you when you were younger?”
She looked at me, “I don’t know…”
I reached down and pulled out the book.
Then she did this thing that still melts my heart when I think about it. She leaped in the air, grabbed the book, “I love this book!” She looked up at me, holding the book with something close to reverence. “Mommy, will you read it to us, please?”
I had tears in my eyes when I took the book from her. She literally leaned over the couch arm, put her chin on her arms and proceeded to listen intently. Both of my boys were there and they also joined in and I proceeded to open the book and turn it around so they could see the pictures while I read them my favorite children’s book and cried through most of it. It’s one of those special moments that will always hold a place in my heart. They were ages 16, 12 and 8 at the time but they still listened to that story like they were two and I was reading them a story as they were falling asleep.
Adelle came up with the tattoo idea perhaps a year later. She wanted to have the words from the book and her birth month flower. As soon as I heard it, I knew that’s what I wanted too. Originally, I was going to get the exact same tattoo as her since we were born in the same month.
But, after thinking about it, I decided this was my tattoo that represented my kids, so I incorporated my boys birth month flowers as well. I also decided their flower’s should be their favorite colors. I know that changes, but honestly, their colors haven’t changed much in the past five years or so. And even if they do, it was their favorite color as a child, so I think it works for what I’m going for.
I was more than sad that we couldn’t finish it yesterday, but seeing it mostly finished, I am beyond blown away at how beautiful it is. I love it more than I can say and every time I look at it, I think of my children (not that I need a reason to think of them).
I know I’ve seen this question somewhere in the blogosphere, but what children’s book would you tattoo on your body? If you don’t like that question, maybe just answer, what is your favorite children’s book?