My First at 43

Yes, I did it! I thought I would not, but I did. No, it is not a mid-life crisis thing. It was a gift. It is something I will cherish forever. I had my first tattoo at 43. Our firstborn just turned 18. When he was 16 he said all he wanted for his 18th birthday was to get a tattoo with his dad. While I was terrified of the idea, I calmed myself thinking that he would change his mind. He did not. As his birthday approached it was getting real. We were getting a tattoo together.

So we did. There is a sense of accomplishment, deeper bonding, and liberation which is hard to explain for me yet. I will eventually find the vocabulary and articulation of how it feels and what it means for me. For now, I know that somethingchanged; and it is not just ink on a small skin area of my body. Something changed inside.

Our son has friends and he could ask any of them to be there with him, but he asked me, his father. That is in itself beautiful to me. We explored something new for us together and went through it. Nevertheless, the experience taught me a lot about my own personal biases and my need to see people the way Jesus sees them and sees me. Chains of biases, prejudice, and judgement inside of me were broken. It is more profound than ink in the skin.

It is still surreal to look at my shoulder thinking that this Superman symbol will be on my shoulder for the rest of my life. It is also special in so many ways. Those who know me know about my Superman thing, and those who have heard me talk about it know the spiritual significance it has for me. Superman has always been a representation of both Christ and us in his joined mission of restoration. It is an honor for me, in more ways than one, to have the Kryptonian shield of hope from the house of El permanently on me.

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