When my youngest turned 18 she went off with her ID and got more piercings – not something I liked the idea of which I might have mentioned to her just a teeny bit – okay – a lot! (see this post – and note the date)
Her words of comfort to me at the time were; ‘well, at least it’s not a tattoo’! How this was supposed to comfort I can’t imagine! She supposed my wobbles about tattoos would be greater than my wobbles about piercings I guess.
Today, those words come back to haunt as, having recently turned twenty one, it is the tattoo she’s off for and a fairly large one at that, forgetting her earlier words.
“Can I remind you of something?” I said before she went.
“What?” she said, instantly suspicious of another forthcoming attempt by me to divert her plans. I reminded her what she said to me last time and we laughed about it.
Except then she said; “well, at least it’s not on my face”.
I raised my eyebrows in horror and had goosebumps all over. After last time I’d prefer she didn’t say things like that.
I appreciate tattoos are quite an incredible art form – I’ve been dragged to look at loads recently and some are stunning. And I’m even more stunned at people totally covering themselves with indelible designs even if incredible. However tattoos don’t quite do it for me but then, some of what’s hanging in the Tate Modern doesn’t do it for me either so what do I know?
And it’s not about me any more. It’s a time for me to butt out, other then offering a few indelible opinions beforehand!
For like with anything our children learn, about the world, or themselves, the only real approach that truly works is one I drew on many a time, especially when home educating and getting a bit frustrated: You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.
I only ever got frustrated when I was trying to force someone to sip the learning I was offering and trying to force the outcome too. It didn’t work and forcing rarely remedies the situation.
With both learning and your opinions you can only lay them out and encourage the youngsters to take the opportunities – as and when they will.
I see our role as parents to keep on leading any which way we can. And sometimes that involves saying your piece and butting out and going off and dealing with it any which way you can!
And I begrudgingly admit, the tattoo is fairly awesome!