I was at the library the other day, and my daughter was playing at the Art Table with two other girls. One of the little girls’ mother was near by and said, “Aren’t you girls good little artists!”
And the third girl perked up and said, “My dad’s an artist!”
The woman smiled indulgently and said, “Oh really, what kind?”
The little girl proudly told her, “He’s a tattoo artist.”
And the woman. Oh man. Her face just twists, crumples into something nothing short of disdain, and she opens her mouth and says, “That’s not…”
“An easy job,” I cut in, looking the woman in the face because, really? You’re going to tell a child her dad’s not a real artist? I continued, “In fact it’s very very hard, because that art is alive forever on a person, not like on paper. And that’s scary! You have to be really good, to be a tattoo artist. Your dad must be really, really good.”
The child’s face just lit up, she grinned and turned back to her coloring, happy as can be.
But I had to ask myself: Regardless of how you feel about tattoos, what kind of person can put down the profession of a little girl’s parent? I was just glad that I could make this little girl feel proud of her family.
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