My mother is a bit old fashioned in a lot of ways. She does not appreciate the fine art of rainbow colored hair, piercings, or tattoos. She prefers her music to have a little less angst and a little more twang. She insists we don’t say “f**k” on Facebook.
I am her daughter.
My poor mother. She has this tomboy of a girl who loves tattoos and secretly wants purple hair. The girl who would wear a baseball cap more often than not. The girl who just got two big tattoos and has one more even larger one in mind.
She does not understand, and yet she is trying to find a way to love them. She acknowledges I am part of a different generation where body art is acceptable and not so much an act of rebellion. For me, it is an expression of ownership of my body. It is an act of self- love. It really has nothing to do with anyone else’s ideas or prescriptions for healthy living. It is just me owning my skin.
I consider my mother’s feelings when I choose to do things. I knew she would not like the tattoos I chose to adorn my skin. I did not get defensive or expect her to jump up and down with glee, I know better than expect this.
She surprised me. She even managed to make a joke about the compass between my shoulder blades. Today she even said they were pretty. This is a big step for her. I know I can follow my own path. I am secure in the knowledge that I am loved for being exactly who I am. So many people are not lucky in this way. They are chastised and judged by the people who are supposed to love them unconditionally.
I don’t have to worry about my family shunning me. I have been raised with the expectation to live my life on my terms. I don’t have to worry about being excommunicated from my tribe. My heart is safe to travel and explore because I will always have a safe harbor to return to.
I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I have permission to push boundaries and to seek my own path.
I love my mother. She is one of my best friends. She celebrates my quirks and my successes. She worries about me when I am struggling. She tries to comprehend my interests. Sometimes, she can only tolerate them a little, but she tries.
The freedom associated with unconditional love is profound. It allows me to be brave and to follow my dreams. I feel like I can accomplish anything I set my mind to achieve.
I am indeed a lucky girl. Thanks Mom. I appreciate your love.