July 4, 2012

Marty McFly, Tribal Armbands, and Disappointment

I need to be able to travel in time...like Marty McFly.  Apparently my mother, as smart as she is, is confused about growing up.  She seems to remember a childhood where she never misbehaved or stressed her parents.  She seems to believe she was the perfect child and never went against her parents' wishes.  I, however, counter that this is a load of horseshit and her memory is skewed.

All I need is a DeLorean and a Flux Capicitor to prove it.

Remember the 90s?  Nirvana? Flannel? Barbed wire tattoos encircling the (not so much) muscular bicep? Tramp stamps? Ankles wrapped in tribal bands?  You know where this is going, right? 

The heart of our debate revolves around tattoos.  Essentially, she doesn't get it and I do.  I've tried to explain it.  I've tried to convey to her what I think.  I get that she doesn't like them.  How do I know this?  "Pardon me, I don't get it," was a recent text message. (I'd put a screenshot, but my phone ran away from home and hasn't come back yet.)  I think she's pretty clear.

So, I'm going to try to explain it here...cause we totally rock on family communication!

I got a tattoo when I was 18.  It is a most lovely design with lots of color.  It hurt.  But, I have no regrets about it and I still love seeing it. There was no deep meaning behind it, but I still remember standing in a little hippie store and picking the design out.  Sort of takes me back to that time in life, ya know.

There are two are below my ankle bone.  One is a gecko and the other is the Proctor & Gamble symbol.  I know, I know. Why?  At this particular time in my life, I loved that little gecko for no explainable reason. The other one was a nod to my sarcasm.  People have claimed for years that the symbol represented the company's ties to satanism...but it's not. Duh. Face value is not always the true value,eh?

My ribcage has a quite lovely young fairy girl with a long green dress and golden wings.  I chose her because I had been told by my (then) doctor that I probably wouldn't/couldn't have children. Obviously she was wrong, but I had no idea at that time how this would play out. She was my girl, the one I thought I'd never have. I am grateful to have two beautiful and amazing daughters now, but I'm still in love with my fairy girl.

My back started as an ode to my firstborn.  It is a mother and child with her name below.  There is abstract water below and flames surrounding.  She is an  Aquarius, if you're into that sort of thing, and this is known as the water bearer.  Get it? Water bearer...water.  I'm a Leo, so...tada!  Fire for the fire sign.  I added my son's name in Hebrew.  His name is interpreted as held by the heel...ironic considering his nerve damage affects this area of his body.  Sometimes we know what we don't know we know...know what I mean?

Today I added Baby Girl's name.  It is a perfectly sweet daisy with a hurricane symbol at its center.  It is the culmination of who she is.  Pure and sweet, some days...Daisies are also known as 'thunderflowers' because they bloom in the summer when thunderstorms are common.  She is this, too.  Thunderous and loud and demanding.  The hurricane is a nod to her nickname.  We have called her the hurricane since she was about 18 months old.  She sort of has that way about her.  You certainly know when she has been around.

Each one of these is a permanent memory of a particular place and time.  I remember the idealism I had with my first one, thinking anything was possible in my life.  My parents saw the gecko at my dear, wonderful, and amazing aunt's funeral.  They saw the P&G symbol nine months later when we buried my sweet Papaw.  My fairy was all the hurt and disappointment I felt thinking motherhood would elude me.  My back is what keeps me going...these souls, unjaded and limitless, trusted to me and captured in images of how I see them.

I know my parents, who are phenomenal, don't 'get' it.  My brother, who also has a few tattoos, and I have had this discussion.  We both feel like we've let them down in some way.  Yet, both of us have nothing that doesn't carry a an important memory or meaning for us.  It's not the decision I'm sure they would've wanted us to make, but it is by far not the worse thing that could've happened to either of us.  We're good kids...we're raising good kids...neither of us have a rap sheet (Bratsy, I'm assuming you've disclosed anything to the contrary, right?)...They did a good job.  Nobody failed parenting.  It's all good.

P.S. I'm guessing Papaw wasn't good with you drag racing your car, Mom!  :)

No comments:

Post a Comment