Last Saturday was the second day of spring soccer. The Diva couldn’t play because she had a temperature of 103. The Pterodactyl wouldn’t play because the Diva couldn’t play. And get this: the Tyrant said she wouldn’t play because, “I’m shy.”
Two hours later at the frozen yogurt store, she said, “Watch this, guys!” and she pulled down her pants and showed everybody her 4-year-old butt. I was all, “SHY? YOU’RE SHY? THIS IS SHY?” Uh-huh. I seriously don’t think it’s too early to put her on birth control.
Then we went to Pearle Vision because I had some sort of eye infection that made me look like Quasimodo, and the little kids took turns crawling on the examining equipment while the Diva cried because she couldn’t make them stop.
I love you. I love you. Forever. I love you. I love you. Forever. The Tyrant put a $200 pair of Ray-Bans on Teddy and the Pterodactyl took all of the brochures off the counter. I love you. I love you. Forever.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve felt like a cool person stuck in the trappings of a geek, and have spent a good bit of my life trying to accentuate the hipster in me. For a while I had six earrings in my left ear. I sported a bit of a mullet before the style went redneck. In college I occasionally wore sneakers with formal dresses. I like to paint my toenails blue.
I know, I know, this sounds more WEIRDO CHICK, than cool, but there it is. And also: I’ve always wanted a tattoo.
SOME tattoos represent the epitome of coolness for me. Big emphasis on SOME. Because if you have ITALIAN STALLION emblazoned across your chest, and STALLION is spelled wrong, that’s not cool. Also – butterfly wings down there adjacent to your pockanoose, a Confederate flag on your chest, the phrase INSERT COINS IN SLOT above your butt crack, and eyeballs tattooed on your eyelids – all NOT COOL, dude.
But I like a little permanent ink that represents something. Soccer star David Beckham has Mandarin Chinese characters running down his side that translate to: Death and life have determined appointments, Riches and honors depends upon heaven. Heavy swoon factor there. My trainer, Son of Sam, has lots of tattoos, and he has a story for every one. I even sort of like Mike Tyson’s Maori tribal ink on his face.
But I’ve never gotten a tattoo, partly because I didn’t know what to get and partly because Hot Firefighter Husband was opposed, and he asks so little of me that I thought I’d honor this small request. I mean, the guy doesn’t complain when I stop shaving my legs and abstain from daily showers. It seemed the least I could do.
Still, I always thought about it, and decided that my pipe-dream tattoo would be something written in Vietnamese, to honor my oldest daughter, born in Vietnam, and in Spanish, for my younger two children, who were born in Guatemala.
AND THEN! For my birthday in December, Husband gave me a gift certificate FOR A TATTOO! Because he totally dug my idea! And I was all, OH SHIT, now I totally have to go through with this thing.
I spent a few weeks obsessing about what and where. I didn’t want to put it someplace hidden, because what’s the point of that? It’s not like I’m worried about applying for jobs. I decided that the inside of my right wrist would be perfect because I could always easily see it, and I don’t think I’ll develop wrinkles there as I age.
My friend the Geologist was appalled. “What if your husband doesn’t like it? What’s that going to do to Mr. Handy J?” she asked, and she did the international motion for hand jobs, and people, I was sort of speechless. Because I didn’t know that had A NAME! And if Handy J is a MR. does that mean my husband is a little bit gay?
But Husband assured me that a tattoo on my wrist would not interrupt our sex life nearly as much as having three children under the age of 10. In other words, at this point, does that even matter?
So I thought and I thought and I thought. I thought about it as my son told me I was the WORST MOM EVER then fell asleep with his lips on my hand. I thought about it as the Tyrant used all the baby wipes to line the drawers of the bathroom, fed the wipes to the dog, then told me I was the BEST MOM EVER. I thought about it when the Diva cried huge elephant tears because I didn’t buy her a bracelet and I thought about it when she told me she wanted to stay with me forever.
And last Thursday, I went to Son of Sam’s tattoo guy and on the inside of my wrist, he drew this:
má thương con
which translates into I love you (in Vietnamese), I love you (in Spanish), forever (in French).
The French represents my New Orleans roots, and it’s also the only foreign language that both Husband and I speak. If Husband ever ditches me, I’ll just drop that last part.
I LOVE MY NEW BODY ART, and now I’m feeling all Angelina Jolie, except for, you know, how we’re nothing alike.
Of course, I don’t really need a reminder that I love my children, or proof that I’ll love them forever. And I hope they know that I carry my love for them in my heart and in my soul. Still, I can’t change the fact that they were adopted, and certainly they’ll one day have doubts about their place in this world, and perhaps even their place in this family. They’re not blood of my blood, but they’re part of my heart, and now etched in my skin, and it feels right.
I love you. I love you forever I tell them every single day. But one day, maybe when I’m old, maybe when I’m frail and tired, words will fail me, and I’ll wrap my ancient arms around their shoulders and my wrists will press against their skin and I hope they’ll remember that they changed their mama a long time ago and made her far cooler than she ever thought she’d be.