So here's one from the "Ain't that a kick in the head" department -- my lovely daughter, who turned 18 in January, celebrated her entry into the adult world by permanently marking her body.
Yep, she got ink done. She got herself a tattoo.
Dani has talked about this since she was 9. She lost her baby brother that year, and always said she was going to get a tattoo of his zodiac symbol with a halo over it.
She texted me a few weeks ago and asked, "Andrew was a Virgo, right?"
I knew exactly where she was and what she was doing.
It's funny ... I spent the first 18 years of her life trying to make sure she was perfect, flawless and unmarked.
Every time she'd fall rollerblading, slide knees-first into a base during a softball game or tumble from the top of a cheerleading pyramid, I'd suck in a breath and say a silent prayer that she hadn't done something that would cause a scar.
So the second she's a grown-up, she runs right out to mar the alabaster skin I just spent nearly two decades protecting?
Now, I don't have a thing against tattoos ... on other people. I know they're an art form. I know people use them to express themselves. I've seen some really beautiful ones.
Again, on other people.
Tattooing is something I have just never been able to wrap my mind around.
I have to be laid down to have blood drawn (I've always known I should donate blood, but I'm even a chicken about that ... besides, I've reasoned with myself, I have a twin sister, and if I needed blood my mom would make her give me some), so the very idea that someone would subject himself or herself to something that required their skin to be penetrated with needles repeatedly is just beyond my comprehension.
Aside from that, I just know a tat would make me feel claustrophobic. If my fingers swell and I have a hard time getting my rings off I go into a panic. I can't even imagine having something on my body I couldn't get off without the aid of painful and expensive surgery.
I suppose it's not really Dani's tattoo I hate as much as what it represents ... that she can do pretty much whatever she wants to do now, and she doesn't need me to sign for it.
She can pierce or tattoo at will.
I love the woman Dani is becoming, but I really miss her being a little girl sometimes. It's great to talk to her as one adult to another, but there are days I'd give anything to have that tiny girl with the bouncy golden-brown curls and big, brown eyes crawl up into my lap to read a Dr. Seuss book.
She sent me a picture of the tattoo ... she had done a lot of research, and she chose a parlor that would allow her to help design her own, one-of-a-kind tattoo.
She did get the Virgo symbol, but opted to get wings on either side instead of the halo. It's done in dark colors ... greens, blues and black, and it's not big at all. It's on her hip, so it's not going to be visible most of the time.
It's really kind of pretty.
Or it would be ... on other people.