When my other kids turned 18, they made choices that no longer needed my approval and promptly proved their independence by getting a tattoo. Nevin is 21 !! yes, I surrendered and "let" my baby have a beer on his birthday. But this was different, it was a decision that wasn't what I would choose, this was permanent. There had been some talk of a "sibling tattoo" ....... ok, okay..... maybe...... maybe, that would be ok with me. They had decided on a shamrock.... three leaves..... each sibling's initial in each leaf. Okay, ok..... he can get the shamrock. I mean, it's a sibling love thing, right?
Sooo....... fast forward to my daughter's birthday. She's 27. She was planning to use birthday money for a new tatto. So, while discussing tattoo's over her birthday dinner, the snowball got rolling and before I knew it.... even hubby was getting a tattoo the next day (he's no help!!).
Soooo........ tattoo appointment day..... Nevin was excited, until he learned that the plan was to get a shamrock. "NO SHAMROCK!!" "I want dragon". Said with enough conviction, that I knew there was no shamrock happening..... so I searched and found a celtic-like, shamrock-like, three headed dragon that could have initials put into it. When I showed Nevin the picture, he was game. I mean his choice seemed to be shamrock or three headed dragon, right?
Dad had even landed on a shamrock (design name: bad-*ss shamrock)... go figure. But Nevin was determined NOT to get a shamrock or a 3 headed dragon. So he vacillated between silent pouts, pleading looks, angry-talk (which typically doesn't even apply to the situation.... because he can't process fast enough, with that much adrenaline .... so instead he just gives voice to "angry talk".... often excerpts from movies, etc.). We did hear the word "loser" come out a couple of times.
Me on the other hand....... just wanted to cry...... see!! see!! everyone, see what you caused...... now we have a mess, we have hurt feelings, we have angry talking and no apparent solution. But as I sat and looked at my 21 year old son....... I realized, his anguish was partly my fault...... I was trying hard to be in control... I don't want to let him grow up... .. didn't work for my other kids when they were 18....... why doesn't Nevin have the same right to prove his independence as they did.
Sooo..... I took a deep breath..... sat down compassionately beside Nevin and asked him to tell me what he liked about HIS dragon and what he didn't like about MY dragon. Together we made a list of what HIS dragon needed to have..... ONE head, a tail, a body, wings, horns, red eye and red wings. After consultation with the tattoo artist, he assured Nevin he would draw him a "one of a kind" dragon.
So, there you have it....... it's hard work letting go!
My baby...... my son....... is a young man......... with a dragon tattoo!
oh, and as you can see he "tolerated" getting his tattoo just fine.
Dad, however, wasn't fond of getting his first tattoo.
And of course, Hannah had no problem with hers, and I didn't have time to "fuss" about what she was getting...... :) like it would have made any difference, anyways! and it's ok, cause she's beautiful with or without a new tattoo.
And, Nevin makes friends where ever he goes!! :)