My first…

It was February 13th, and I couldn’t believe that I was finally sitting in this chair. The chair itself wasn’t that extraordinary, although it did allow me to lean back and put my feet up in a comfortable position. It has taking me 50 years to get into this chair, and I was more than a little bit excited. I was getting my first tattoo!

I never really thought that I was the “type” of person to get a tattoo (is there even a “type”?). It wasn’t that I had anything against the idea, or the people that had covered their bodies in this type of art. Rather, I’ve always been intrigued as to how each individual had select their design, and where on their body they would display it. In all honesty, I simply didn’t think I’d ever find an image that I’d love enough to have on my body forever. The permanence of it made me hesitant, but clearly I had simply not yet found the perfect tattoo for me – until now.

As my 50th birthday approached, one of my daughters suggested that we get matching tattoos as my gift. She knows how much I love our time together and thought this might be a fun gift that we would always remember and be able to show everyone. She knew that I had a Pinterest board of tattoo ideas and we would often send each other pictures and texts as we tried to narrow our options. The moment I saw a particular image, I knew it was what I wanted for my first tattoo. The funny thing is, I don’t even think it was a tattoo – just a graphic that caught my eye, and captured my heart. I had a few requirements: I wanted it to be small and I wanted to have it on the inside of my left wrist just above where my watchband would rest. And I wanted it to have significance. This image fit all of my criteria. When I showed it to Hannah, she also fell in love, and immediately knew how she would make it her own.

The design was simple. The basic outline of a house with a heart inside. It was exactly what I wanted. This little design will represent my happy 27 years of marriage, and four children who make me so proud. My heart’s at home. Hannah decided to only use the house design – no heart- reminding her to surround yourself with people who feel like home. She was going to have hers on the inside of her right ankle. Since it was her gift to me, she researched tattoo artists, chose one, and made us an appointment. We were so darn excited to do this crazy thing together – such rebels 🤪

The day arrived, and we met at the tattoo shop after work. After discussing the image at length via text, other than signing the required papers before the tattoos, there wasn’t a lot of prep to be done. We all laughed when I asked a few questions regarding the paperwork I was signing, and the tattoo artist admitted that “Most people don’t even read that, they just sign it !”. Well, not this girl! After learning about the care of our new tattoos, we both decided that I’d go first. I knew that once we started the process, I would pick out something to focus on and use my Lamaze breathing to get me through it. For me, when I’m in a new, stressful, or painful situation, it’s easier if I don’t talk. I was happy to find that it wasn’t as painful as I had expected. After having four babies and several kidney stones, this was a piece of cake – and yes, I fully realize that my tattoo is teeny tiny! Hannah preferred for me to chat her up as she got her tattoo, my stories and laughter helping to distract her, but she was also surprised how little it hurt. We did it!!!

What a fun experience! This is about as rebellious as I get… until I get my next one – ha ha! But seriously, I have a few more ideas ❤️ I love the placement that I chose and the size (it’s actually smaller than a nickel!). I can catch a glimpse of it easily at any point during the day, and no one knows what I am smiling about. I’m glad I waited until I was 50 and didn’t rush the process. I love that my daughter and I did this together and we’ll always have this memory. My advice – if you have any inclination of getting a tattoo – take your time finding just the right one, and think a lot about the size and placement – and GO FOR IT!