I did it. A while ago, actually. But I realize I never updated here.
In January I got a tattoo. My "first tattoo" as Dawn, the woman who inked me, told me to refer to it as. She said it is hard for most to stop at one and I can see that. It was easy to do and I absolutely love my tattoo!
It all started last June. Scratch that. It actually started in June 1993. I went on a trip with my girlfriends to Ocean City, MD after we graduated from high school. I was 17. That trip was a blast. Wow, to be young again. But I digress... While at the beach, I considered getting a tattoo on my ankle. We went to the tattoo shop and I looked around. I had no idea what I wanted to get, I just wanted to get something. I was young, tanned, free, on a crazy summer trip with good friends, I needed to do something wild!
Then I thought about it. Did I really want Tweety Bird on my ankle on my wedding day? Or for the rest of my life for that matter? I was thinking no. So I decided to wait 6 months and if I still wanted the tattoo then I would get it. If not, then I would skip it.
Needless to say, once I returned home from the beach, I knew immediately I definitely did not want a tattoo. To be honest, I've never really been a fan. And then there was my mother to deal with. She actually told us girls to come home pregnant before coming home with a tattoo. She's not a fan either.
Fast forward 15 years to June 2008. My second baby boy was just 3 months old and I had been lamenting the fact that I was done having babies because it was practical and not because it was what was in my heart. Somehow this feeling worked its way into my head so deeply that I awoke one morning after dreaming that I had gotten my boys' names tattooed on my left wrist. The dream was so real that I started to consider getting a tattoo for my boys. While I am no longer a fan of Tweety Bird, will there ever come a day I will regret my children? I think not. The seed had been planted.
Still, being me - deliberate and practical to a fault - I decided to follow the same 6 month rule I observed as a teen. When I told Dan about it all, he suggested I get my tattoo as my Christmas gift if I decided I still wanted it in December.
For months I searched the internet for ideas, drew pictures, looked at photos of other tattoos, asked for opinions and ideas. And then one day, there it was. As soon as I saw it, I knew that was it. The symbol I wanted to honor my boys with. It's from some Australian organization - Barnardos - for a Mother of the Year award. I don't know the specifics, but when I saw the symbol of the mother gently cradling her babe against her breast, it made me think of nursing my boys, of holding them close, their warm body snuggled against mine, eyes locked in that gaze... That was it. That was what I wanted.
So in January, I did it. Dan came with me. I went to Dawn at Art Fx and got inked. It didn't hurt the way I thought it would. It felt like bee stings. A lot of them. It was less bearable when she didn't let up for a while, but it was mostly just annoying. I ate a lot of Dum Dums while she did it. Within 20 minutes of sitting down in the chair, it was done. Immediately, I loved it. I couldn't stop looking at it or touching it. It took a lot longer to heal than I expected or was told and I think it actually scarred a bit on one end. But it doesn't change how it looks.
I'm past the stage where I'm constantly touching it or looking at it every 13.5 seconds. Jesse hasn't asked for weeks when my tattoo will come off. Now it's just a part of me. Part of who I am. Just like my boys.