Saturday, February 28, 2015

Before you judge me for letting my 16 year old get a tattoo... please read this...

Savannah got her first tattoo tonight. Her dad and I took her just like we went with Timmy to get his first tattoo.  And some of you out there are at this very moment saying out loud or in your head, "What the heck are her parents thinking letting her get a tattoo?!?!?" Trust me... I hear you... I know you are saying and thinking it. And I should not care or give a hoot, but sadly, I do! But, for just a minute let me explain WHY we allowed her to do this and then if you still think we are crazy, well, that is your call and I don't give a hoot! For the record, we would not have allowed her to just go out and get ANY old tattoo. What we did consider and after months of thought and talking about - finally agreed to - is a tattoo that is the drawing her brother sent her on her 10th birthday. When she was 9 years old, Savannah's older brother, Timmy, joined the Army and was sent to Oklahoma for basic training.  He was there when her 10th birthday rolled around. It was the first time they were not together on her birthday.  When kids are homeschooled, they are TOGETHER A LOT!!! He was with her nearly every day for 9.5 years of her life. He made her lunch a lot of days and they were connected.  So, when her birthday was coming up, he couldn't get her a present because he was in Basic. He drew her a picture.  The picture has a story - when he was younger his best friend, Patrick and him, created stick figures for themselves.  Later, Timmy tattooed those stick figures on his ankle. So, he sent her this drawing and he made her an honorary stick figure.  She was thrilled to get this simple drawing for her birthday and for a 10 year old missing her brother it was huge! When Savannah was 11, her brother was killed in a car accident. To say that this has been hard on her and our family is just words. It doesn't even touch the emotion that is really involved.  Unless your world has been devastated by losing a loved one - you have no freaking clue and don't even try to say you do. Timmy was a tattoo crazy person. And not long after his death, Savannah began to tell us that some day she was getting a tattoo of those stick figures.  As she led up to her 16th birthday - she began to talk about it more and more.  Tim and I talked and talked and talked some more.  Then I do what I always do... I asked my mom her opinion. Then I asked my SC friends. Finally, I asked my bestest friend, Jorgena, what she thought of it. ALL OF THEM said that under the circumstances, they could see this being okay. And, yet, I still had to think on it some more. Ultimately, I realized that my sweet girl has struggled greatly the last 5 years. I have seen her not sure how to answer the uncomfortable question of "Do you have any siblings?" I have seen her not want to talk about what happened to her brother. I have seen her face emotions that I don't wish on anyone.  Finally, we decided that we believed that she would never regret this particular tattoo. We believe that each of us have to do things that help us put shattered pieces of heart back in place. For her that is a tattoo. If it gives her the strength she needs to talk about him and feel him close to her - then I am certain we made the right choice. I didn't owe any of you an explanation. But I know all too well that people form opinions of people without knowing all the facts. She is my baby and she has been through more grief than she has ever deserved. If my telling people why she has been allowed to do something spares her just one person looking down upon her, then I am glad I did it. Just remember everyone has stuff they are dealing with and you may really not have any idea how hard that is.

1 comment:

Bright Sky Mom said...

Sending you a hug.