It's a moon and stars; a quarter-sized doodle I'd been drawing in the margins of my notebooks for years. It's on my right foot, just below my pinky toe. It was my Teenage-Rebellion Tattoo...or it would have been if my parents were opposed to self-expression. They're not. They loved it.
I went with my best friend. He got his first tattoo that day, too. It was a celtic cross in honor of his late mother. I think I thought that, having gotten inked together, we'd be friends forever.
He and I parted ways shortly after graduation and I haven't spoken to him in years.
Sometimes, good things come to an end...and it's okay.
I got my second tattoo when I was 25.
It's the Tibetan Buddhist symbol for eternity, a woven knot, on the far left side of my lower back.
It was my Marriage Tattoo: I went with my husband. We'd been married for less than a year. He got a tattoo that day, too. It's a symbol from the I Ching meaning stability and duration. I knew that we'd be together forever...even before we got inked together.
He and I...and our relationship...have changed a lot in the decade that followed that trip to the tattoo parlor. Time and life and kids will do that. But I still know that we'll be together forever.
Sometimes things change...while, somehow, staying the same.
I got my third tattoo yesterday. I am 35.
I went with my mom, which was fitting because this is my Motherhood Tattoo. My mom got an infinity symbol on her left wrist. It's her motherhood tattoo, too, because if you flip an infinity on it's side, it's an eight: she has eight kids (and has earned infinity Mommy Merit Badges in the process of raising all of us).
Mine is inside my right bicep...
When my babies were babies, I spent hours rocking, swaying, dancing, nursing, and praying them to sleep. They were, and kind of still are, terrible sleepers. As I rocked, swayed, danced, nursed, prayed, (and sometimes cried), I sang.
In the middle of the night, deprived of sleep, and with my nerves frayed to their bitter ends, it was all I could do to summon, from the recesses of my subconscious, the words to three songs, which I whispered into the ears of my three babies over and over and over...and over...again. Three songs, but oh, they're the good ones. My favorites.
My babies may no longer be babies, and they may no longer need me to rock, sway, dance, and sing them to sleep. Hearing those songs, though, will always bring me right back to those dark, quiet, endless nights when my babies needed me, and only me.
Now, every time I look down at the arm that cradled those sweet, stubborn, wide-awake babes, those songs will play in my heart.
Let It Be
Three Little Birds
Sometimes, forever is a good thing. Sometimes...forever is perfect.
Oh...and, for the record...due to a scheduling snafu, I'm now That Mom that brings her kids to a tattoo parlor.