So a little bit after I kicked BA our I decided I wanted a tattoo. Something to show new birth and a renewal of myself. Okay, I know it seems a little odd, but I have heard of worst reasons. At the time I was a newly single Mother embarking on a new adventures that I was prepared for from the moment I found out I was pregnant. I was prepared because I gave BA the option to walk away and I would never expect anything from him. It would be as if my daughter was the product of a one night stand with someone I knew nothing about. Nobody to be forced into parenthood.
I digress. I spent months thinking of what I wanted. My design was to represent my daughter and our life together. I eventually came up with 2 options. One was a Claddagh with a tiger in a half circle above it. The other was a Claddagh with a tiger’s face inside the heart. After consulting with many people the majority seemed to like the tiger in the heart, so I was set right? Nope….
I had no idea where to go, how much it would cost, if I would be able to stay still long enough to complete one, etc. The cost was a big question. Family members have tattoos, but few are super local and I really do not get to see them as much as I would like. Life happened and became crazy so the thought got put on the backburner. Until this year, my year of yes!
We happened to have someone from a third party company working at the dealership that I became friends with and while we were talking I expressed my interest. She had a few very pretty and tasteful ones. I felt comfortable enough and she was open enough to answer my questions. So I began trying to finalize my design.
The one thing about the original ideas was it felt lacking in my daughter’s heritage. I am Irish, Polish, and there is debate about whether or not I am part Romanian. I grew up with my Mother and her family, so I know my Irish Heritage well, but not so versed on the rest. BA is, in his words “An Asian Mutt”. He even told my OB that when they were assessing any possible genetic issues to look for with the pregnancy. The tiger takes care of the Asian since she was born year of the Tiger. What, and should I do for the rest of my heritage. Researching nothing seemed to quite fit or be able to be incorporated.
During my search I came across something that just clicked and became what you see in the picture above. So when BA and I were together Elephants with the trunk up (Thai thing) became our household good luck. We found a black wooden elephant head with the trunk up and when we put it into our home, we had many blessings including the discovery we were pregnant shortly thereafter. Although BA was part of the beginning, the piece still watches over my living room and I believe has continued to bring my home blessings. The elephant now beautifully engraved on my back represent my family and the strength and grace we use to overcome any obstacle. The Tiger Lily’s are my daughter who has created my life in ways I could never have imagined. The trunk is up for luck and lightly comes to the top of my shoulder so I can place my hand there when I need to be reminded of all. Tiger Lily’s also happen to represent prosperity and is an added bonus.
For my first tattoo I was apprehensive to say the least but it did not hurt. I did a lot of research over the years and could not be happier. I chose Matt from Northside Tattoos not only because of recommendation, but because he has a very diverse style and because he also does pinstriping tattoos, I felt he would get the most detail in a small space. He absolutely did not disappoint and exceeded my vision. I did not want anything huge because of not knowing my pain tolerance, and because huge is not my thing. I don’t need other people’s attention. This was for me, and me alone.
After 4yrs, it’s done… sort of. One of my thoughts before getting it was to have a water color accent added later depending how I handled it. I may still do that, or may add a small elephant without the Tiger Lily and do the water color there. I really like the watercolor effect. We shall see. My sister went with me and talked to me through the whole things and I was thankful to have her by my side. I love my sister, she is one of the most amazing people I know. My daughter loved my tattoo because the mouth being open was clear. That was the one thing she asked me to make sure of. That’s my crazy and amazing 6yr old, and my life.