fiddlehead.....every changing, ever growing

fiddlehead....ever changing, ever growing

Thursday, July 14, 2011

tattoo or not to tattoo?

I have been thinking a lot lately about getting a tattoo....
the impulse to do this has been many years in the making.  College came and went with the impulse and thank goodness I didn't act on it during some raging night out on the town. I am glad I didn't get one during that period, precisely because I didn't know myself well enough.  If I had I would have a sunflower or shamrock or Bucky Badger on my body....and would either be cursing it or probably would have had it removed by now.

Today it is a different story.  I really do know who I am, and I have a strong desire to capture my feeling about my family in art on my body.   Of course, I already have my baby tattoos, aka... "stretch marks".   I have embraced those as a mark on my body signifying motherhood.   But now that our family is complete I want to create a design of my own.  I am imagining something with fiddleheads or a very organic shapes respresenting our family.

I like these henna inspired shapes (especially the 1st and 7th), but would design something myself for 4 children to be represented.
And of course, I LOVE fiddleheads....what they represent- growth, change, evolving, and togetherness they re-emerge every spring and represent hope.

I imagine something small, feminine and beautiful.  Mostly, it needs to be something I love so much I want to live with it forever.  It must also be on a place on my body that is less likely to sag, or wrinkle or be totally obvious.   So, I am thinking on the inside of my ankle or foot.

I don't know what I will do with this feeling.  It has come and gone over the last 20 years. 
I think the feeling to get this tattoo has become so strong at this point in my life because I feel so secure with my myself, my life, my creativity, my motherhood.

My husband isn't crazy about the idea.....said "its a little trashy" (coming from a guy with a small fraternity tattoo on his foot from his college days).  But that comment does have me thinking.  I'd like his support.  And that other people will think "trashy" too- do I care?  Maybe I do a little.   But honestly, if I do go for the tattoo I am not thinking about other people, it isn't about them or for anyone but myself. This is a personal expression on my body.  
One that would be an expression of my love for my family.  And to me that is lovely.

There it is.  
tattoo or not to tattoo


Sara said...

I just got my second tattoo yesterday, so I'm leaning on the pro-side of things here. I had been thinking about a wrist tattoo for a couple of years but didn't know exactly what I'd get. Then once I had the idea for it (it's the word "heart" in Amharic inspired by an e.e. cummings poem), then the timing just felt right.

Rachel said...

Ok, I'm torn for you. Here's my thinking... When Tessa is in high school or college and everyone is getting one, if you've got one, the mental barrier that might have kept her on the fence will be removed. I'm not opposed to my mature, adult daughter getting a tattoo if (like you) she's really thinking about it. What I don't want is for Clementine to get one without thinking about it because everyone's getting one. And then to steal Tina Fey's words, she winds up with a Winnie the Pooh holding an FSU flag or some such nonsense that's not gonna stand the test of time:-)

On the other hand, as an adult, my dad had always wanted a tattoo. My mother was staunchly against it. When he was going through treatment, I tried to convince him to go out and finally get it but things wound up happening so fast... you know the rest of the story. Sometimes I think that it wouldn't have hurt anything for him to get it, if for no other reason than because he was 58 and he wanted it.

My biggest reason not to get one is that I honestly can't think of a single design or symbol that I'm 100% sure I'd want to commit to for my ENTIRE life:-)

Let me know what you decide!

The Lost Planetista said...

I say go for it. It sounds like you've given it a lot of thought. Once you get it, you'll wonder what all the fuss is about. Tattoos are fun.
I really like your design ideas too. Very cool. Keep us posted- and post pics if/when you do it.

hotflawedmama said...

I have 4 really small tattoos. A flower on my foot, a cross on my shoulder, a Z on my ring finger and the amharic word for grace on my wrist. I love them and am super proud of them.

Here's the thing, I really do look at them as art, as telling stories or as little reminders. Some people thought/think they are trashy but it's not really for them, it's for me. A lot of the people who were really mad that I had done it originally, cough, my mom, cough, have since loved mine so much she got a few of her own! Your husband may see them on your body and change his mind. :)

I LOVE your ideas for the tattoo. I'm currently figuring out how to represent my kids in tattoo form as well. :)

S said...

I'm not sure I should comment on this because I am a fan of tattoos--ones that are artistic, full of meaning. I get your husband's view of trashy tattoos because there are plenty of those too. Sit on it until you know for sure..because they are forever.

Ashley Sisk said...

I don't have any but if you're going to do it...make it meaningful. You have to live with it forever. I once wanted one but then I played out certain events with it and decided that I didn't like it in certain images (in my head). So I opted against it.

BOAmommy said...

Your thoughts on it are very much like mine. I wanted one forever and also am glad I did not do one in my younger wild years. I always stop thinking of getting one when Brad mentions what it will look like when I am 80. My other set back was location and what I would get. I now have one on my list for things I want before I turn 40......but it is in pencil not pen like most of my list! I say you have put a lot of thought into it, and only you can decide what is perfect for you! I also have to say I like the 7th one!

Remco Koteris said...

Jen, I can see why you would ask Andrew about how he feels about it, I know I asked Mibeth when I got my first (and so far only) tattoo. She told me it is my choice to make and if the reason and the message behind it are so pure (like you've described it) he will grow to love it for what it represents. Just be ware of where you put the tattoo. I think a woman's anckle is a very good place to have a tattoo, where as a shoulder or lower back tattoo does have something 'trashy' about it. Given your strong feeling and the message you are sending I would say: you go, girl!

Gina Norma said...


Thank you for visiting the fiddlehead report!