Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tattoo Number Four

My baby boy just came into the room a little too excited. Uh-oh, somethings up. He then starts telling me he has something to tell me and not to get upset. Bad sign. If he has to resort to emotional blackmail it's a bad sign. Next he leans over and lifts his right arm. There, on the inside of his bicep is an inky black circle. No it's a peace sign- that's worse. Inscribed around an outer band in block letters it says, "All you need is love." Baby boy proudly states,"It's a Beatles song. I've wanted to do this for a long time." Of course he has. His older brother has three tattoos. His best friend has at least one that I know of. Visit any college campus and you'll quickly see how mainstream tattoos are for this age group. But to me it looks like a scar on his perfect skin. All mothers carefully inspect their babies when they are newborns and everyday after. It's a maternal instinct to keep that baby as perfect as the day they were born. Every cut and scrape hurts a mother's heart. I immediately think even if he decides to remove it later, he'll have a scar. This is a permanent blemish. Of course, he sees it as a personal expression of a deeply held belief. He doesn't have the foresight to know that his mind will change hundreds of times in the coming years. His tastes and beliefs will change. Instead of just taking a poster down off the wall when that happens, he'll have a permanent reminder of what he thought when he was eighteen.

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