My thirtieth birthday came with the running of my first half marathon.  My thirty-first birthday came with a very pregnant belly.  And, not to be outdone, my thirty-second birthday two weeks ago, came with some ink!  My husband took me to get my first tattoo at Green Man Tattoo in West Hartford. (  I had always wanted a tattoo.  I was never quite sure where I would get it, or what I would get done, but the allure of having a piece of art permanently placed somewhere on my body that would never leave me was too much of an obsession to ignore.  My loving husband finally gave in this year.  Partly because he could not figure out quite what to get me.  He takes great pride in picking out the perfect gifts for me, but with the arrival of Jake this year, he gave me such an amazing present that even he felt he had difficulty topping.   Oh, and partly because I texted him constantly, and begged and pleaded and negotiated like a kid asking her parents for an iPhone.

So we dropped off Jake at his grandparents and off we went to Green Man.  I came prepared with a picture of what I wanted my tattoo to look like.  And after much much deliberation with my friends at my office, I had decided where to have the tattoo placed.  Before I tell (and show) you what I had done, and where I have it, I’ll preface it with three important factors in deciding on tattoo placement:

  1. I’m a lawyer, and I work in a professional environment
  2. I wear strapless Lilly Pulitzer dresses all summer
  3. I’ve had a child and I am intimately familiar with what stretches and what doesn’t

These factors limited my choices for where I would get my tattoo.  I will tell you, the location where I got my tattoo does not jeopardize any of those three factors.  And it’s still pretty cool, if you ask me.  Once we got to Green Man, I was introduced to Ken, who would be doing my ink.  He asked to see what I wanted to get done, and where I wanted it.  I showed him the picture, and then proceeded to show him where I wanted it done.  He started laughing.  I was almost taken aback!  Why was he laughing over this?  I had thought long and hard about this, and sought out lots of advice from my friends!  What’s the deal here?  I think he figured out that I was a little surprised at his reaction, and then he said, “Of course you want it there!  That’s where all the girls are getting it now.  It’s a Ska_k Flank!”  To which I replied, “WHAT??! Are you KIDDING ME!?? I’M A MOM!”  And then he laughed even harder.  Oh, and in case you were wondering, the Ska_k Flank is the new “Tra_p Stamp”.

Can you picture this scene in your mind right now? Thirty-two year old mother of a nine month old, standing in a tattoo parlor, embarrassed at the name of said tattoo placement, about as naive as that kid who is begging her parents for an iPhone.  I bet you’re also wondering if this changed my mind for where I wanted to get my ink.  Nope.  Went right ahead and had Ken draw up the design, and waited for my turn at the tattoo gun.  Once he finished designing it, it was time to get down to business.  I kept telling myself (and anyone else in there who would listen) that,  “If I had an epidural, I can do this!” and, “I gave birth, so this is going to be nothing compared to that!” And sure enough, I was right.  And for the record, getting a tattoo is NO WHERE CLOSE to the pain of childbirth.  Even with an epidural.  So have at it, moms!

It took Ken about a half an hour to complete his work, and while I was laying down on the table, I was chatting up another girl who was getting some work done on the inside of her wrist.  She, too was a mom.  She was getting a quote done about her two children- It read something like, “I love you more than the moon and the stars…” and had both of their names tattooed beneath it.  It was really quite beautiful.  We both were joking about the pain of childbirth compared to a tattoo, and she agreed- this was by far much easier to live through.  I told her that I was too afraid to tell my mother ahead of time what I was doing for my birthday.  (Really though, I’m 32 and still afraid of my mother sometimes!!) She laughed and said, “I’m 37 and I didn’t tell my mother I was doing this, either!!”  Isn’t that funny? Two thirtysomething women, mothers, who are still afraid of their own mother!  I guess some things never change…

In the end, the tattoo came out perfect, and my body was no worse for the wear.  Ken was amazing- he designed and created the exact tattoo I had hoped for, and had me laughing throughout the entire process.  He totally made my birthday!!  The next day when my family came over to celebrate my birthday, I made the big reveal.  First my mother shrieked, but it was more out of delight, and then when she really saw what I had done, she loved the design!  I told her that I’d take her for her birthday, to which she replied, “NO WAY!”  It was worth a shot.  I only hope that one day I can instill that fear of “What is Mom gonna do to me when she finds out about this??!!!” When Jake is planning on doing something stupid.  But of course, if he’s anything like me, he’ll do stupid things and tell me about them later…

Oh, and in case you were wondering… it’s a needle and thread.  Quite apropos for a quilter and sewer!