Tonight, I spent a few hours with my mother and step father as I was in need of some human interaction. They really are great parents and they’ve given me more opportunities than most people are ever afforded. Because of my awesome upbringing, I have grown up to be very independent and opinionated and my love of tattoos is one of the ways I express myself.
As I was waiting for dinner to finish grilling tonight, my mom suddenly recalled my venture from last night and looked at me and said “Well, I guess I might as well see it.” So I pulled my sweater off of my left arm and turned to show her my new ink. After she looked at it for a moment, she started smiling and says “That’s actually pretty cute!” Seconds later, my step father walks in from the grill and mom asks him if he wants to see it. He, unlike my mother, was less than interested in my recent addition, and his reaction was to roll his eyes and indicate how he feels tattoos “deface” a body. All this time, I expected my mother to be the one who freaked out, or be the one who had nothing good to say, instead, it was my step father! Imagine my surprise.
The reason I can say that they are still awesome parents, despite their lack of support when it comes to permanent displays on my skin, is because the rest of our evening went back to the conversation and laughing that we had been experiencing prior. They accept me and the decisions I make, although they may not whole-heartedly agree with me. They are honest and forthright when I do things they disagree with, but they also realize I’m not causing anyone harm, and in the grand scheme of things, I could be a criminal or a sociopath, or something much worse and they know that. They allow me to be who I am without trying to change me. They accept my decisions and opinions, just as I accept theirs and although we sometimes disagree, we still love each other and everyone is accepted as they are. That true love, that love without strings attached or any need to change who I am, or what I do, is what makes them such wonderful people. In fact, if I were to find any fault with the way that I was raised whatsoever, it would be that they love me so openly, so innately, so fully, that I expect the same in return from a partner. I’m learning that I cannot make someone love me the way I expect to be loved, if they were never provided that, themselves, as we can only love as deeply as we are loved. As my new tat is meant to remind me, you can’t fix problems with tools you don’t have.