When I saw this meme online this morning, I laughed so hard I began to snort. I thought to myself ” Wow! what a great way to start off a Tuesday morning!” Since I enjoyed reading it over and over in various voices of older people I know, I thought said why not share the laugh? Once I posted the meme, all of my friends found it just as hilarious as I did. I shared with one of my friends who commented on it that I can picture my grandmother saying this to me. However she would have added a whipping to go with it! I never thought I would be a 42 year old mother with 10 tattoos. I remember when my brother started to getting his tattoos and I could not understand why. I felt like the old white woman in the meme: I bet he is a weed snorter! Then of course my son started getting them and then he got the big one. Who but his mom’s name on his forearm. I was so surprised, but I couldn’t help but to love it. I can remember asking Chris to please stop getting tattoos and my nonsensical reason was, “how are you going to get a job?” I am woman enough to admit that crow does not taste well at all. He is employed and doing just fine. I lost count on how many tattoos he actually has. When I moved to Atlanta, I got my first tattoo on my foot on a whim. I was just riding around and I saw Psycho Tattoo and said “let’s see what’s going on in here.” One hour later was I hobbling to my car with my pretty, swollen foot and my new tattoo. The funny thing is, I really loved my tattoo and it was something personal I did for myself. Oh and I didn’t lose my job because of it. Fast-forward 17 years I got my tenth one about 2 weeks ago. I love them all and I get so many compliments on them. They are for me and no one else.
This is a great life lesson on how I became the book I once judged by its cover. I have to be honest. I was a little afraid to show my mother my latest creations last weekend. I finally pulled up my sleeves and showed her. She was surprised and was only concerned about the pain they caused. She is one of my biggest HS supporters and she wants to make sure I take extra care of my skin. Times change and people change along with it, if they choose to do so.
Tattoos are beautiful. Get one, two or ten. The next time you see someone with a nice sleeve or leg tattoos, give them a compliment if you like them or ask questions if you are curious. I am sure we won’t mind sharing our story.
( On the inside of my forearms I have a dandelion, cross, lotus and mindfulness)
Today is a special day for me. Yes, I know it’s April Fool’s Day, but it is also my son’s birthday. For some reason Chris turning 26 today has made me feel proud, happy and thankful. Whenever I tell the faithful story of giving birth to him at the tender age of 16, I always start with telling people I had Chris before it was acceptable to be a teen mom. Not only did I or anyone else know I was pregnant (I was skinny and continued to have my period), but I gave birth at home. I’ll save the reaction stories for another time. What I can tell you is that I was a child that had given birth to a child and I was terrified! Chris was so tiny and premature that I was not even able to take pictures of him until 27 days after he was born. Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama was his home for the next several months.
As I sit here and think back about his life up until this point, I smile and I thank God. Even for the times that he was not making the best decisions or doing the right thing. All of that was part of his journey that makes him the man I see before me today. He is handsome, strong, smart, kind and has a heart of gold. Best of all, he knows that he is loved. When I think about how I wish my daddy was here to witness Chris on his journey, I have to remind myself that his spirit is with us and continues to live on through us. I know he is just as proud as I am.
Words cannot express how much I love my son. He has been my motivation for 26 years. We have not always agreed on everything, but one thing I always hold on to, nothing will ever separate me from the love I have for him. I want to end this mom brag post with one of my favorite verses in Adele’s Sweetest Devotion song. The song she wrote about her son.
I wasn’t ready then, I’m ready now
I’m heading straight for you
You will only be eternally
The one that I belong to
Love is a powerful word. I often times wonder when some people say it, if they are aware of what it really means? When I think about love, I think about my family and friends who mean the world to me. The older I get, the more I realize how important it is show and tell the people in your life you love them because things can change at the blink of an eye. The chance may pass never to return again. Before I had my son, I would often hear my mother, grandmothers and aunts say there is no love like a mother’s love. I didn’t know what the big deal was. My thinking was hey they are supposed to love their kids because they had them. It was a given. Right? The early morning when I had Christopher (on April Fool’s Day mind you!) my heart and my mind went through a complete transformation. I actually fell in love with him the moment I laid eyes on him. I knew then I loved him more than anything in the world and I would do anything to protect him. I wanted the best for him and I would do anything to make sure he had everything he needed and some of what he wanted.
Fast forward 24 years he is now a man, but he will always be my little boy. When I talk to my son Christopher, I make sure I tell him I love him before we hang up. Sometimes I get a clear I love you and other times I get a low mumble that I assume is a hurried I love you. When I see a sad Tide commercial or see an old baby picture, I text him to say I love you son more than you can ever know. He will say “I love you too mom” or “yes mom I know you love me.” Which makes me cry even more. Before Christopher went to his duty station in Alaska, we spent some quality time together. We laughed and cried. We shared memories of daddy and how he has influenced our lives.
The main thing I wanted to make sure he knew then and always know is that I love him unconditionally. There is nothing in this world that can separate the love I have for him. I told him I have always loved him even when he did not always do things the way I would have. I told him at the beginning and end of the day, he will always be my son and I love him. Through all of the arguments and disagreements I still loved him. As life goes on, I am sure we will have more arguments and disagreements and at the end of it all, I will be there to love him.
There are so many people in this world who are only loved based on conditions. There are so many people who cannot tell those they love or that love them that they are gay, have a different religious belief or even something as simple as they don’t want to go to college because of the fear of being disowned. It is not our job to judge, it is our job to love UNCONDITIONALLY. It is important to live in your truth no matter what it is. If that means you love with conditions, then say ” I love you if…” If you love unconditionally say “I love you even if…” You decide on the way you love and how you want to be loved.