I struggle with my kids getting older. Partly it is a sense of my own aging, and my changing and uncertain role both in their lives and in the world at large. It can be hard coming to terms with the fact that they need me less and less, and that I have less and less control over their lives.
But however I feel about it, at least I am not as possessive and controlling over my children as the woman in this story: Woman devastated by her son’s tattoo. The son in this case was twenty-one, certainly old enough to decide what he wanted to do with his body. Do I think a tattoo is a good idea? Depends upon where you get it. Would I be upset if one of my kids got a tattoo? No, although I might be less than thrilled if one of them got a nose or tongue piercing.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why someone would be so shallow as to allow a tattoo to destroy one of the most precious relationships in life. And believe me, telling someone that they’re not the same person simply because they have a tattoo is, in addition to being supremely disrespectful, guaranteed to damage that bond.
Our children grow up. They become themselves, not necessarily who we want or expect them to be. In fact, that’s part of the fun: often times who they become is so much more interesting than our expectations. In any case, all we can do is be there for them, and offer them love and support and guidance appropriate to an adult.
After all, our whole job as parents is to raise our sons and daughters to adulthood, not to an extended childhood.