I’ve been wearing the same “mom necklace” almost every day for the past four or five years. It’s a miniature portrait of the boys, framed in silver on a chain from which hang tiny discs with their first initials. I love it, but I was ready for something different. Something I wouldn’t have to remember to put on and take off every day, and that wouldn’t clash if I decided to wear gold earrings.
Twenty years ago, I got my first tattoo. I was 19 years old, and the tattoo is of Calvin and Hobbes. Not long after I had the characters inked onto my left leg, the cartoon stopped being published. I still love it, but I kind of cringe when I think what a cliche I was. My dad had deeply regretted the tattoo he had on his ankle and was not thrilled to see that I had gotten one. But hey, teenage rebellion, that’s totally normal.
Twelve years ago, after completing my first marathon, I got another one, on my lower back. (I swear, this was before the term “tramp stamp” was coined.) The marathon was in London, and I’m a huge Anglophile, so it’s a Union Jack flag with a little stick figure runner superimposed on it. It was exquisitely painful, and it didn’t exactly turn out as I’d envisioned it. Oh well, it’s not like I can see it anyway. It actually came in handy when I had back surgery in the exact spot a few years ago. My doctor was able to put me back together perfectly thanks to the grid on my skin.
I never truly planned on getting another tattoo. I’d thought about it off and on over the years, especially after the boys were born. Maybe I’d get one for them? But what? I’d seen plenty of “mom tattoos” but none that really appealed to me. So my interest would wane for a year or two until the next time I became fixated on it.
That brings us to this past summer, when plans were being made for the company-wide meetup that would be taking place in Park City, Utah in September. One of the outings being planned was to a tattoo parlor in Salt Lake City. Yeah, okay, some people went hiking, some people went biking, and I went tattooing. (Actually, I did all three.)
I ended up getting the most bad-ass tattoo of all time. Three hopping rabbits in a circle. Much to their future embarrassment, I’ve always called the boys my “bunnies” so that’s what I got a tattoo of. Okay, maybe not so tough. But at least now I can wear gold earrings.