i have a secret to share with you in my letter to you this month. i got a tattoo. to honor you. to honor me. to honor us.
i have told you many times how much i loved being pregnant with you. i was one of those insanely happy pregnant women, even in the very last days of the pregnancy. to this day, it still remains one of the most joyous stages in my life. every day i was pregnant, i would say three words to you: strength, health, love. i would shower, let the water run over me, place my hand on my growing belly, and promise to do everything i could to provide you with strength, health, and love. and i would wish that you provide these things to yourself as well. for years, i have been contemplating getting this permanently inked on my body. i told you that i planned to get this tattoo. but the time wasn’t right for a long time. i almost did it last year, but it didn’t work out. but in the last few months, i really felt ready. i started contemplating how i wanted it to look, and researching tattoo artists. i wanted a female artist and contacted a couple of them in the area. i finally found a woman, mariah, who seemed perfect – i loved her artwork, and she herself is a mother of a girl about your age. i showed her what i wanted, and on a recent snowy day, i spent the afternoon with mariah, while she worked on our tattoo. it was quiet in the shop, just the two of us, and we shared stories of our daughters. it was perfect.
our tattoo holds many meanings to me. the words underneath the tree represent the roots of what i wish to provide you. the tree, sun, and moon represent our love of nature, our desire to share experiences together in the outdoors. the sun’s light is like my love for you, pouring over you, day after day. and you are my sun, as your love warms my heart, reborn with each new day. the moon arrives each night, a different version of itself. sometimes weak, sometimes strong. cratered with beautiful imperfections. as women, we are tied to the cycle of the moon, and it influences the ocean’s tides. and the tree also reminds me of one of our favorite books, the giving tree. a story of giving, beautifully illustrating the capacity to love another so much, unconditionally.
my first tattoo – fearlessness fueled by goodness – was created out of love for my father, your grandfather. and my second, created out of our mother-daughter love. i am so happy the three of us are linked in this way. you and your grandfather continue to teach me how to love.