A couple weeks ago I got my third tattoo. While you've seen all three of my tattoos, it may come as a surprise to others. There are actually people I've known for years that have no idea that I have any tattoos.
I got my first tattoo when I was 19. It was my first summer living away from home. I was a summer camp counselor with the weekend off. I woke up early in the morning, & just felt like getting my first tattoo. A fellow camp counselor went with me. I had no idea what I wanted. I looked through the sample books & pages hung on the tattoo parlor walls before deciding on a simple sunflower. I wanted something that wouldn't be covered up all the time but also wouldn't be too obvious. My ankle was the spot I chose.
I got tattooed the second time when I was in grad school. This time I had known what I wanted for a while. Inspired by Footprints in the Sand, I wanted the outline of footprints. It symbolized one of my favorite poems, God, my love of the shore, & all the time I spent with my family at the beach. One of my friends from college was also getting a tattoo, & we went together. Your Daddy watched me wince as I got my right heel tattooed.
Most days I don't even notice I have tattoos, but for a while now, I'd been thinking about getting another. While anchors have recently been popular in fashion, they've always been my favorite. To me, they symbolize growing up as a Navy brat & never being far from the ocean. After graduating from high school, the anchor began to symbolize Rhode Island (it's part of the state flag), URI, & meeting your Daddy. Since buying a house in Rhode Island, the anchor has come to symbolize our summer walks on the beach, our shared love of the ocean, & home.
BUT, I've never gotten a tattoo by myself. You would think this wouldn't be an issue, as I'm not a tattoo rookie, but I was nervous to do it on my own. Luckily, when I asked my dear friend Ali, she agreed to go with me & get one too.
I can't believe the butterflies I felt in my stomach as they tattooed a small anchor onto my wrist, the most noticeable area of all my tattoos. I instantly loved it, & it meant even more that I got to share the experience & the same tattoo with one of my best friends.
You kind of shrugged & went on with your day. I don't know how much you understood. I don't know if you will want a tattoo someday too (is it weird that I kind of hope you won't want one?), but I'm glad that we had an honest conversation about it. I hope we can have honest conversations about things like this in the future (rather than being like me who hid my first tattoo from my Dad for almost a year).
For now, & hopefully for a really long time, we'll stick to stickers & temporary tattoos.
I love you so,