If there's any stronger evidence that our children belong only to themselves, the choice to tattoo the body is right up there. He approaches it like he's acquiring art. He researched this artist's pieces for months, and when he saw that he would be visiting New York from his home in Germany, he immediately made the appointment. All I can do in the face of his attraction to tats is hope I like his choices, and suck it up if I don't. I had to learn that lesson one summer when he had a friend who claimed to be a tattoo artist attempt a piece on his ribcage. It went awry, and is unfinished to this day. I mourned for months. I finally had to come to terms with the fact that I have no control over the decisions he makes about his physical person. Meanwhile he learned that just because someone is a friend doesn't mean you put the canvas of your body in their hands. You have to live with that ink forever. He has a plan to rescue and finish that tattoo next year, when he's replenished his coffers from this one. He's done the research and identified the artist he believes can fix it. His preferred style, he tells me, is grayscale neo-traditional.
Happy twenty-seventh turn around the sun, my beautiful boy. Your unfolding continues to be a wonder. We love you so.