A Tattoo For Dad
Written by
Angela Martin
September 2010
Written by
Angela Martin
September 2010
This past summer, and in particular when I was at the beach in July for our family vacation, the number of people who had tattoos amazed me: young women, young men, older women, older men. Maybe I just didn’t pay attention to it before, or perhaps it’s a new trend and I’m just out of the loop. Tattoos are something I don’t know much about, except that I think it would be really painful to get one and I think you should be completely sure about it, because for the most part, it’s permanent. I have to say Cate has been way ahead of the curve as far as having “ink” goes. She’s been doing her own “hand tattoos” in ballpoint pen for about two years now. For 363 days out of the year, Cate has handwritten an inked tattoo on her left hand with the same message: “Cate loves Mom.” Two days a year—August 14th (my husband Tim’s birthday) and Father’s Day—she throws Tim a bone and revises her tattoo just for him. This past Saturday, the girls and I were wrapping birthday presents to hide for Tim’s scavenger hunt—a tradition he started years ago to celebrate our oldest daughter Caroline’s birthday. He created rhyming clues leading her to each little gift, sending her upstairs, downstairs and outside. The scavenger hunt has taken on a life of its own and has become what the girls look forward to every year more than any present that they find. We were all set to get Tim started on his scavenger hunt when Cate went running back into the kitchen yelling, “S’wait for me everybody.” Not a minute later, she came charging into the living room with her hand behind her back and ran up to Tim saying, “S’happy birthday, s’Dad!” She then stuck out her arm and written on the back of her left hand was her birthday present for Tim—a freshly penned tattoo in black ink reading: “Cate love Dad.” He grabbed her up in a big hug saying, “Oh, wow—thanks, Cate!” She was beaming. Part of me hopes that this is the only kind of “ink” Cate will get, but then again there will be a time when she won’t always be my little girl, and she’ll make her own decisions. UGH! For now though, I’ll appreciate the hand tattoos that get washed off in the shower and replaced the next morning. xo, Noelle

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