I have a confession to make. I used to be a hater. Yes, it’s true. There was a time that I thought tattoos were not cool. Especially the ones that the public could see on your arms, ankles and back. And I have another confession to make. I have a tattoo also. It’s on my tummy, so no one sees it. I was one of those judgmental, mother of twin teen girls, who thought that her daughters should not get or have these things on their bodies. No way! You are beautiful just the way you are. And, I said, tattoos make you look trashy and uneducated. I was stridently rigid about this.
Fast forward a few years. Now my girls are 18, driving, have jobs and their own spending money. And they don’t need my permission to get a piercing or a tattoo. I can’t do anything about their wish to adorn their bodies with ink. I tried to let it go. Really, I tried.
Then something very beautiful happened. I got a text from my daughters reporting that they got a new tattoo. It wasn’t their first. I cringe. I say something, not printable, under my breath. I try to breathe deeply. The next text is two photos of the tattoos that one of them got. Oh great! I closed my eyes, took another deep breath. I looked. The first one is a tattoo of the words: “Let All You Do Be Done In Love.” How could I get mad at that?
The second tattoo has two parts. It has a lotus flower drawn by a youth group friend. And it has the words, “I Love You”. The words are an exact replica of one of their teen guy friends’ handwriting. He was brutally murdered a couple of years ago. They lost a dear friend. The note came to her via a church youth retreat. The teens give each other encouraging notes throughout the weekend. They call them MOL’s: Messages of Love. This young man was their best buddy. His friendship and these words meant the world to my girls. Now his sweet love for them is memorialized on her arm.
I am not a tattoo hater anymore. At least not of the ones on my daughter’s arms. Every time I see them, I am reminded to judge less, accept more and be more loving. Thanks, girls. I love how wise you are. This mom learned some beautiful lessons in an unlikely way.
Where have you received some unexpected wise words that shifted your thinking? Loving lessons come in many forms; usually when we least expect it. Do you have one you would like to share? Let me know. Maybe I’ll get a tattoo that says, “Judge Less, Love More”.