Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Past Lives

Last weekend, Vince and I took Benjamin on a walk through nearby Venice Beach. Ah, Venice! Home to eccentrics, rollerbladers, tourists, fortune tellers, artists, tattooed freaks, mouthpieces for all manner of socio-political causes, and memories. Yes, indeed, yours truly used to be one of those eccentrics. Actually, I started out as a tourist, but as LA became my home, I became at varying times a Venice Beach rollerblader, artist, and tattooed freak, too.

We had fun on our little walk. I showed Benjamin a tattoo shop where I'd had some work done. We strolled by world-famous Muscle Beach, as well as my favorite hot dog stand. Eventually, we meandered through the canals where Vince told Benjamin about how Daddy proposed to Mommy on a bridge in a very different Venice on the other side of the world.

I'm no longer much of a rollerblader, but the tattoos are still there. They've always garnered the occasional strange look or comment, but it's never really bothered me. Since I've become a mother, however, the looks and comments have become more pointed, and I'd be lying if I said that that didn't bother me just a little bit.

My tattoos tell a story of who I was, and that in turn reveals a bit of who I am. Are there times when not having tattoos would be more convenient, times when a sense of propriety forces them into hiding? Sure. But for the most part, my ink is there for the world to see, and that world includes my son. He'll grow up seeing me be myself, and maybe that will show him that it's ok for him to be himself. In the meantime, he seems to think it's pretty cool that his mommy comes with pictures.

4 comments:

Debbie Kee said...

Love it. Love it love it love it. Coolest mommy in Benjamin's preschool!!

Catherine (aka Lucy's Mommy) said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again--you're the coolest mommy I know!

Sierra said...

So, people with tattoos can't be mommies? What idiots think that? Sheesh!!! You've been awesome since I've known you, since UCLA when some new tattoos were going on for the first time. I saw a couple a year ago walking along the street, covered with tattoos on their arms and legs, and I had a strange sci-fi brainstorm - what if their biological child came out of the womb with natural tattoos? Crazy, but cool! I should write that story... But you have nothing to be ashamed of, and Ben will certainly grow up accepting other people's differences.

lissomelily said...

Thanks for all the positive feedback and support in regards to this post. Yup, the tats tend to shake things up in Mommyland, but as long as Benjamin continues to love me, I say, "To heck with it!"

And Sierra, I think you absolutely should write that sci-fi story! I'd read it in a heartbeat!