Love The Skin You’re In! My salute to parents on the "left side of normal"

Tonight I was rocking Gory to sleep, and had Evan yakking to me from the hallway, and my mind was on tonight’s blog post.  I have so many things I want to write about, so many ideas to share, thoughts to immortalize, and the only thing I could think about was the Halloween section at Target.

Sick, right?

Not because I am having a big Halloween party, or I need to decorate.  But my house is in a permanent state of being decorated for Halloween.  I collect skulls, bats, spiders…….pretty much anything that is a bit weird or kooky, I love it.  I have a Fabulously Fierce skull wreath on my door 365 days a year, have a Dia De Los Muertos alter in my studio (which is also the front room), and miniature skulls dot the mantle between family pictures.

I have been a mommy for well over 9 years now.  When I was a new mommy, I only had one tattoo, and a small one at that.  Since then, my collection has grown to over 20 tattoos, and some piercings.  I am not done.  Greg has a full sleeve on one arm that extends onto his hand, and he is not done either.

So, to the point of my blog tonight.  Because Greg and I are a little “left of normal” so-to-speak, the general consensus of people in the area think that all of the tattoos, the fact that Greg is in a metal band, the fact that my house is full of scary decorations, ect. make us BAD parents. Huh.  Why would one think that? Doesn’t make sense, right?

Well, here is the kicker, and the reason that I always think about this.  Never once would someone ever second guess a mother walking into a Target with an infant and a pre-teen in tow.  Not a second glance would be given, normal enough, right? When Greg and I roll up to a Target (If Greg is with me, music is usually pouring out of the windows, and he and Evan are usually singing along), and we get out, I toss Gory into my Ergo carrier, and we head in, people will actually STOP to stare at us.  Like the circus has rolled into town! GAH!

I feel that all of this attention is an important life-lesson for my kids.  You know the one I am talking about, the one where you tell your kids to “not judge people by the color of their skin”?  Yep, that one.  Well, my skin just so happens to be not one, but MANY different colors. I once had Evan come up to Greg and I at a school function, and ask us why all of the people there were so strange.  He said “They are all weird, none of them have tattoos of piercings.  Are they OK?”

So here is my list of tattooed mommy guidelines:

1. Yes, I have tattoos.  Yes they are real.  No my kids did not draw them on (but Evan DID draw the one on the back of my neck, if you would care to see his marvelous artwork forever immortalized on my skin).

2. I have tattoos.  This does not make me a drug addict, an alcoholic, or a child molester.  But I am the woman in the neighborhood that keeps an eye out for THOSE people, and I know their every move, so if you need to warn your children, I can give you their names and addresses.

3. Most of my friends have tattoos and piercings.  To my children, they are referred to as “Aunt” and “Uncle”.  They are some of the most loyal, hardworking, honest people you will ever meet.  And they are fierce with their love for my children.

4. Yes, I have tattoos, and I am comfortable in my own skin.  Actually I LOVE my skin!  If my tattoos make you uncomfortable, then maybe it is possible that you have a problem with YOUR skin?

5. My children listen to music.  Their father is a musician.  There is always music being played in our house.  This fosters a love for music, which in turn, stimulates hand-eye-coordination, motor skills, verbal skills, math skills, and all sort of other skills that my children need to grow and learn.

6. I collect creepy items in my house.  If you come over to my house, and see something that offends you, feel free to leave.  Skulls are a part of the human body that I find fascinating.  Everyone has one, and if it scares you or your children, maybe there is a lack of knowledge on the subject.

7. I allow my children to be free with what THEY like, if it is not what I like, then more power to them!  Gory loves his Rocker Bye Baby blankies, Evan’s room is Chartreuse.  I let Evan skateboard with no elbow or knee pads.  A skinned knee is good for the soul.

8. My kids come with me to my tattoo shop.  Yep, they come right on it.  I consider the owners and the artists there my family.  My children are not in danger, and the amount of creativity and artistic freedom that our artists have inspires Evan. I feel blessed to have these people in our lives.

It makes me sad that I have to feel this strongly, and have to write something like this.  It eats away at me, but in the long run, I feel that we are teaching our children to be who they are, and to be comfortable with WHO they are, regardless of what others think or say.  And that, my friends, allows me to sleep at night! 😉

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7 thoughts on “Love The Skin You’re In! My salute to parents on the "left side of normal"

  1. You are one of the most loving mothers I know. Way more than many other normies out there.You should post the tattoo of Evan's drawing! I'd love to see it!

  2. I super heart you right now. Who/Where is your tattoo family? :)And Evan RULES ("They are all weird, none of them have tattoos of piercings. Are they OK?" That's freakin' amazing.)

  3. I love you, Brooke… and you are one of the coolest moms I know. I totally agree with everything you posted, and it's sad we live in such a world where WE are the weirdos. I hope we get to the point someday where everyone accepts everyone else for who they are. I hope tattoos and piercings become the mainstream, and the non-tattooed and non-pierced ones become the "weirdos" so they know exactly how they made us feel. *hugs* You rock!

  4. *big squishy huggles*You are truly an inspiration, Brooke!! It's so sad that in the 21st century we still live in a world where people judge each other so easily JUST on looks or on the music one listens to, and even worse how people consider themselves the good norm, and anyone different are "bad".I'm so glad that you are teaching your kids how to feel well in their own skin, and how not to judge others!

  5. I'm right there with ya sister. You are so unique and independent and creative and fun and there's nothing wrong with that! you are teaching your kids such great lessons and I hope to teach my son the same!:)

  6. Well, as a new internet friend, I can't really say much about you, except for what I've read. And I TOTALLY agree! Wonderful post.I'm am one of those "I'll never get a tattoo" people. (Non-committal, low pain tolerance, etc.) I have many friends with tats, but none of my family has them. I'll illustrate a few of your points with my own friends and family, if I may. For example, my grandmother is perfectly "normal". She collects expensive antiques, loves British culture and kitty cats, has a respectable job as a school teacher, and often has tea with a group of church ladies, including a preacher's mom. BUT… she supports my cousin who IS a CHILD MOLESTER. He lives with her. Yeah. Here's the kicker: she's a bigot, racist, liar, manipulator, etc.One of my dear friends, Ann, is a Goth-ish person (I hate to call her a Goth, because I don't really know if she uses that term.) Her daily outfits include mostly black, lots of lace and metal, and super high heeled boots. She's told me about her experiences: getting stared at, preached at, etc. But Ann is one of the NICEST, most considerate people I know. And she's a DEVOTED mother to her smart, well-behaved son. I wish that I was related to HER instead of my grandmother.So. Yeah. I agree.

  7. BLAH! dont even get me started… Brooke were pretty much the same person… same lifestyle… both tattoo'd both pierced… etc. etc. etc. And I shit you not I deal with the same stuff… And WOWIE! Before I was married… no big diamond on my finger… people assumed I was running around making unwanted scary babies with everyone… i STILL get drilled @ Joann for buying skull fabric… and when they ask, what are you making today… I say oh, i have a punk baby store… its for blankets, crib bedding, etc. I get almost every time… "theres no place for skulls in a babies crib" Good god… lighten up people! I didnt ask you to buy it I asked you to do your damn job and cut the fabric! Its not like I go around preaching to people that you HAVE to have skull baby stuff. If you dont? Thats your bag… i dont really care… so why is it people can preach to me about it being wrong? I must stop… i could go on forever…

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