My fascination with tattoos lasted about an hour after I got mine. I raced over to the sink and tried to wash it off, thinking that the ink couldn’t have settled in yet. As I scrubbed my finger in hopes of washing it off, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. “My mom is going to kill me, she will never talk to me again.” My stomach twisted and turned as I tried to find a solution to my impulsive mistake. Band-Aids to the rescue, I raided my friend’s medicine cabinet. I happily wrapped the bandage around my finger with a sigh of relief. How long can I wear a bandage before my mom or brother asks, “What happened to your finger?” I needed a better cover…a ring…that would do the trick. So, I kindly asked my friend who had a high school ring if I could borrow it, he said, “Yes.” I wore that for a year or so before I had to give it back. I hid my tattoo since the day I got it, behind a bandage, a ring, and regret. So much for being cool and having a tattoo.
I was about 20 years old when I realized hiding it was unnecessary…it was my scar of ADOLESCENCE and I had to accept it. I had investigated getting it removed many times but lacked the finances to do so.
When I started teaching at Crossroads School, I shared with my students a life lesson about making choices and the regret I had about the tattoo. Well, the life lesson came back to me. One of my students remembered the story and took it upon himself to share it with his peers and parents. At the end of the school year, I was given an envelope with money for laser tattoo removal and a kind note. I was blown away by his insight and empathic nature. I was reminded once again, DON’T UNDERESTIMATE A KID! The life lesson was mine.