She wants a tattoo, my middle one, my 16-year old daughter. Her idea is that we will get them, together, on our ankles. Simple, tasteful, reflective of our personal spiritual journey. I don't know if I want a tattoo. I've never put much thought into the idea.
My daughter, she has already picked her design - more than once - and she is ready, she thinks, and she likes speedy answers, spontaneous action. This is new for her, waiting, practicing patience with my need to reflect, explore, consider, find my answer at the bottom of the pool.
My quick answer is a simple "Nope. Not 'til you're 18." I could give her this answer, but I don't want to, because maybe, just maybe, she has a good idea. Maybe it would be good for us to do this tattoo thing together, to share this experience, to take this risk and live with the results, together, starting now, when she still needs my permission and I have to wrestle with what it means to give it, or not.
Yesterday, I brought her diary which I hadn't opened in three months with me to write in while I waited for her at an appointment. I wrote to her about the question, the possibility, and although I didn't find the answer in the entry, I found more questions and more comfort with the idea, so when she brought the tattoo question up later in the day I told her I was definitely considering the idea - and the diary entry was proof which she could appreciate. I will share this little excerpt with you:
To Perri, August 5, 2008
And now, ever since Saturday in Vermont. . . you are trying to seduce me into getting a tattoo with you; on our ankles. You want a religious symbol, a symbol of Mary.
I have no idea what kind of tattoo I want because I don't want one, I only want to consider it because you want us to do it together and I don't know if you really want us to do it together because you want to do it together, or because this is the way you think you can convince me to let you do what you want to do???!!
This entry, even though it leaves the tattoo question unanswered, filled the last pages of this diary. Perhaps it will be answered in the new one - blank white lined pages waiting to be filled.