I have a tattoo. . . Well okay, I have some tattoos, but I’ve never told my mother about them.
Ever since I got the first one, I’ve imagined Mommy being unable to accurately identify my faceless body (Why am I faceless? IDK). I know that’s silly, but. . .
At this point, I realize I’m more than old enough to have a lot of things my mother doesn’t know about (and I do), but it really bothers me that I’m still kind of nervous to show her my tattoos because, like many folks, whenever I’m around my parents, I still kind of feel like a kid. And because my mom is pretty traditional and conservative in a biblical sense, she still has that old school take on how I, a woman, a teacher, and a role model, should look.
Although most people realize that teachers in the real world are very different than they were back in the day, my mom and the way she feels about me is still fundamentally the same. I am still her daughter. For that reason, every time I’ve headed home for a visit, I’ve worn sleeves long enough to keep her from confronting. . . my tattoos.
In my mind, she would somehow overthink them. My mother would want to know what they each mean as if they are all cryptic messages about me and my lifestyle. . . and they just might be.
To me, my tattoos are each symbolic and artistically placed, now a permanent part of my aesthetic. I see them as adornments that fit my own personal style. Never having been into makeup, fancy clothes, expensive shoes, accessories, or piercings, I’ve identified body art I feel makes me even more of an individual than I was at birth. And unlike the scrapes, bruises, and scars of childhood and other hardships in my life, I have chosen them to be lasting impressions.
. . . So today, when I go to visit my mom, I think I might just bare my arms and proudly sport what I think is just one expression of the little girl she raised to be an individual who is her own brand of a woman.