Veritas Lux Mea…

or “The Truth is My Light.” is now a permanent fixture on my soon to be 20 year old daughters right foot…… A tattoo…

 Why does this bother me?

 

 

I have been through this with Tanner, my 22 year old who got his first ink in California, 4 years ago. Veritas….Truth….(I sense a theme in this family.)

He followed up with artwork on his chest, a big A with an anchor symbolizing Family, while living in Alabama, added a northern star with a sparrow and more Truth to his side and then expanded a living color rendition of “The Three Kings” onto his shoulder and upper arm.

Again…the essential question is, WHY does this bother me?
My generation, the seventies teens, the free spirits, the creative cool generation did not really get into tattoos. (However, we did grow our hair below our waist, dressed in rags, listened to wild music and occasionally ran nude in the streets.) Tattoos were reserved for men in the service, bikers ….or prison. PERIOD.
Is it this association that troubles me?            Am I just old?

Is it the fact that as I move into my 52nd year of life, I look back and KNOW that anything I would have permanently added to my body in youth would be a fading wrinkled regret now. (The fact is, there is not a single body part that I would particularly want to draw attention to!)

Could it be that I am afraid they will be judged by their tattoo? That they won’t get a job, that their future in-laws will not like them?
Am I the judge? 

Could it be that I am afraid that I will be judged? That if I had been a better mother, my children would not grow up to get tattoos?

Is it that I birthed these beautiful perfect little bodies into the world, and guarded them carefully against any life altering changes to the same little body?


 I was seriously traumatized by the scar Alyssa still carries from flinging herself out of a high flying swing propelled by her shocked father at a campground playground of death onto a sharp rock. And equally troubled by the linear scar on Tanner’s foot from a piece of artwork glass falling on it at his best friends house…

What does it mean, this generation who so readily adds artwork that will last forever. Is it rebellion against parents or society in general? Is it the one thing they can control in this fast moving world? Is it an expression of their thoughts, feelings and creativity?

I don’t have any answers to these questions though I seek them.. I don’t love them any less. I don’t mean this in anyway to be mean spirited and I really am trying not to judge.

I am simply curious……

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15 responses to “Veritas Lux Mea…

  1. No , you aren’t old..but I do think that from the way that we were raised, that tats are for guys of a rougher lifestyle than girls. She got a tat. So no big deal. She has 1. It’s tasteful and has a meaning to her. Could be skulls or something gothic. I have six, one of them being a huge moose on my back in a rocker smoking a pipe. I love moose. It was on a card that my girls gave when they were young. It reminds me of my children. Tattoos are not for bikers and prisoners anymore. It has become a meaningful way of expression. Caitlin has 7-8 of them with a 9 1/2 inch fairie on a crescent moon on her back. That one did make me gasp, but it is beautiful and tastefully done. It’s sooooo hard to watch them grow up(?) and make their own choices…and a lot of them are NOT what we would choose for them. But we are now no longer so much the teacher and have had to take the role of supportive parent. VERY hard transition for me and even harder when it’s our BABY!! I think it’s a very nice tat…..and LOVE THOSE SHOES! as for s job, I don’t think this one will be a dealbreaker since it will be easily covered if the company (and most do) has a policy regarding tattoos. I think that she probably took that into consideration and should she get more (and she probably will) I hope that she will consider the placement for that reason. Sooo cuz, I think it bothers you because it’s ur baby girl. Caitlin and I went together and got one symbolizing mother/daughter since she’s born on my birthday. So maybe you should consider getting one too. Maybe where only David can see it. I’m just sayin’.

    • Girl you make me laugh! I think a lot of it is about control too and loss of it as they grow. I love your perspective and truly have just been curious. I have never really thought of getting a tattoo. Strange, because I am creative but just never really considered it. But who knows I may get bit by a wild hare one day….
      And I love you too!!

  2. Hey girl… I had to weigh in on this one. The thoughts that I had of tattoos years ago is so different then my thoughts of tattoos now. I would have never thought of me getting one lets say 10 years ago. But, after Joe died, I wanted a butterfly tattoo so that I would never forget our thing…butterflies. He always said that we made a butterfly- he was one half and I was the other and together we could soar above anything. Before he died, he told me he would always be with me in the form of a butterfly. (And he has been- I have very cool butterfly sighting stories.) So, when he did pass, I knew that I wanted a butterfly inked into my skin. I always wanted him with me and I NEVER wanted to forget what we had. I knew no matter what that I would always want this. So two months after he passed away, after careful research, I went and got a butterfly tattoo. I did not want it where anyone would ever see it, so I got it on right side very lower back. When I was getting my tattoo, the lady that was doing it said many people come in and get them, just as me…as part of the healing process after losing someone special. I am very proud of this tattoo. So- I think that it is often a meaningful venture for many-and part of the healing process, not just a frivilous act of inking themselves out of rebellion. I think it is an expression. It perhaps shows a passion for something – that those getting a tattoo know they will never want to forget. John says perhaps many do it to feel real in this artificial world.
    Just some thoughts and my perspective…. 🙂

    • Lisa,
      Your words touched my heart. I appreciate where they come from. I do know that a couple of my son’s were very meaningful as he worked through some difficult times. Alyssa has chosen to express her faith through hers.
      I love to blog, it helps me work my way through some of my thoughts and feelings. Thanks for weighing in and I love John’s thoughts.

  3. First of all, Ms. Sandi, you will NEVER be old 🙂

    and I actually want to get a tattoo when I turn 18. I think my generation likes the idea of a tattoo because of all the reasons you listed. I know I want to express my creativity and I know that my parents somewhat disapprove which of course makes me want to get one more.
    Tattoos are also like ear piercings. It does alter our bodies but some of us think that the right tattoos make us prettier. One thing you should be happy about though, is that their tattoos are not derogatory–they are as wholesome as tattoos can get. Tattoos about truth and family, at least it’s not about sex or other horrible things that people could permanently mark themselves with.

    love you 🙂

  4. Sandi,

    Veritas Lux Mea~ Latin for the truth enlightens me or the truth is my light…Well friend… I like it! (the quote lol)
    Why does this bother me? Because we are old school! Not because we are old…just older and that in its self doesn’t necessary make us wiser!

    If someone judges a person because of a tattoo he doesn’t have a relationship with HIM! I refuse to believe these works of art are from rebellion rather the freedom of expression and works of art.

    I hear so much negative about our children’s generation…yet when I see them all I really see is how far blessed, how much more knowledge, talent and creative they are compared to our generation.

    It’s our job to propel and cultivate what HE has given them… maybe not the way we would of, should of, could of! It’s a hard pill to swallow…but they will reach far more of the lost and hurting because they do not have this preconceived idea of what people should look like rather what is most important…the ability to build relationships with all types of humanity and lead others to serve HIM!

    So I say all this to say…love without stings…that’s what Jesus does! Just love um and guide um and if someone judges them or you…they are lacking a relationship with our Creator!

    Your children are wonderful and fearfully made…your blessed …be proud!

    I trust this truth…enlightens you lol

    Jana

    • Well said my friend. I agree but have just had the thoughts tumbling in my head and thought I would post them honestly.
      I appreciate what she has added to her already beautiful little ginger self! And I think this generation has the POWER to actually make amazing changes in this world due to their ability to SEE people as they are.
      God mentions this a few times…..
      God does not judge by external appearance. (Galatians 2:6)
      Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment. (John 7:24)
      Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:7)

  5. Sandi, I think most of the things said in the blog are true…except about being old!!! I think it is the way we were brought up and the people that had them when we were growing up were very different than they are now. I know when my son wanted one before he turned 18 I refused to let him, at 18, he did it anyway. He was never in any trouble, the best kid ever, and I just couldn’t understand why he wanted to mark his body up like that!!! LOL!!! Well, you should see the tatt he designed and had put in the middle of his back (so as not to be discriminated against when it came to job hunting, pretty smart kid huh?) It is the most beautiful sun, representing the son of God with a cross in the middle. Now, I haven’t seen it in years and I cannot remember if he ever did or not but he was going to have fish going around the center of it. Very cool. Me, not so much!!! I just remember thinking, at 18 you have so much growing to do and change so much, what if you hate it in 20 years and can’t afford to have it removed? I had also just come back from LasVegas with a friend and saw all of those very wrinkled old ladies with their sagging tattoos!!! YIKES!!! We were actually thinking of getting one on our trip the summer before! So glad we didn’t!!! LOL
    Your kids will be fine! Lokk who their parents are!
    Claudia

  6. Claudia, thanks for the thoughts. Sigh….I have become such a GROWN UP!!!!

  7. Enjoyed reading your piece on tatoos. I couldn’t agreee with you more. That artwork is permanent, but when you’re in your 20s it just doesn’t matter. I do search and rescue with the Coast Guard/ Coast Guard Auxiliary, and we had a young man who wanted more than anything to fly in the military. Bright young man, all the qualities any branch of the service would want. His extensive body art covering his arms and neck caused his rejection by the military, and his career as a pilot was over. He regrets ever getting even one tatoo, and he suddenly matured in a hurry. He finally got the message, but it cost him a career.

  8. Tough lesson for that young man. But life is all about choices and choices are all about consequence. Glad you found my blog. 🙂

  9. I, too, have been there with my oldest son, Ryan. It all started with a Superman “S” on his arm….very small and, okay, after many tears, decided I could live with it. Now the beautiful man is covered from head to toe and my first thought is always, “where did I go wrong?” I imagine that milky white, very smooth, baby skin I used to slather with Johnson and Johnson’s baby lotion. Unconditional love, right? Just COVER yourself up, PLEASE!! ;0)

  10. Pingback: Birthday Lasagna and the Magic Big Blue Pan… « The Not So Empty Nest…

  11. As the mother of a twenty-one-year old with tattoos I can really relate to this. I am proud of the man my son is becoming and love him unconditionally but I DON’T LOVE THE TATTOOS! I try to be open-minded and have spent a fair amount of time trying to think this through and while I have come to some sort of peace with it all I still don’t like it much. When II stumbled on this I thought I’d finally found someone who understands. And by the way if anyone reading this right now has any children in med school I would recommend they go into laser removal of tattoos because in about thirty years there are going to be bunches of people in their fifties with the same sagging bodies we have now but covered in tattoos…and as they say-it ain’t going to be pretty…lol. Thank you for voicing all the things that have gone through my mind so articulately and sympathetically.

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