The boy will be attending The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and studying biochemistry.
Why? Because he is chock full of awesome, that’s why.
It was a tough decision, and he was a bit tightly wound over it. Now, he seems to be relaxing and feeling the full force of his awesomeness.
“I think I should get a tattoo before I go to school this fall.”
We’ve had this discussion before.
“That,” I say, ” is such a good idea. Get something enormous.”
“Mom,” he says, “I’m serious.”
“Dude, you know how I feel, and you know what I’ve asked of you.” I’ve asked the boys that they wait until they are in their mid to late twenties before getting a tattoo. I have no problem with tattoos, I’ve told them, but the tattoos one gets at a young age are likely to be regrettable.
“I know,” says Jake, ” that’s why I want to get something meaningful.”
I picture something having to do with running, or maybe science.
“I want to get a Polynesian tribal tattoo.”
“Really?” I say. “Huh. Oh, I don’t see you regretting that at all.”
“No, no! I want to have it done in the traditional way! It’s a rite of passage in the Polynesian culture. I watched a show about it on The History Channel. They do it by hand, by tapping–“
“Ohhh, I know how they do it! And it makes a lot of sense, because of all your Polynesian heritage. You are a fine example of a Polynesian Irish Jew.”
“Listen! Listen!” he laughs, ” I want it to be more…. Gaul-ish”
“Gaul-ish? Because you’re a Polynesian Gaul?”
“No, like Celtic–“
“A Polynesian Celtic tattoo. I love it. Can I give it to you? Can I do the tappy thing? I could totally do that.”
“Ok, ok, maybe I’ll wait on the tattoo, and just get my ear pierced.”
And then I do that thing he hates. That thing where I just don’t grasp his need to rebel. Where I get excited about his ideas and I don’t realize I’m putting a kink in his groove of rebellion.
“Would you do both ears, or just the one? I think you should do both, with, like, mid-weight, handforged small hoops. Like the ancient Roman hoops– I love them! Can I make them for you, please? They’d be so cool! Please?”
I show him pictures of Roman earrings, thousands of years old. He agrees, they are cool, but….. he’s thinking studs.
“Yeah, all the sprinters wear them,” Jake says, “like big, diamond studs.”
“The sprinters who are all on the football team? Like the HUGE black guys? Because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you are NOT a huge football player. I’m not seeing the big diamond stud thing working with your skinny white distance runner mojo.”
“I think it would be fiiinnne,” he laughs. We both know he’s not serious. I think.
The earring idea sucked dry of all fun, Jake moves on.
“You know what I think are REALLY cool? Jake asks. “Torcs!”
“Yeah! The Celts wore them. They’re like a solid piece of metal around your neck.” He goes on to explain how warriors of ancient cultures wore these heavy ropes of solid metal, often bent closed to make them permanent. The words, “The History Channel” are mentioned several times. If The History Channel has its way, my son will have a full body tattoo obtained on a Polynesian beach, and wear an archaic piece of body adornment weighing twenty pounds. Imagine that, blogosphere, on the boy in the picture above.
“I want one.”
“Yeah! That would be so cool.“
“Absolutely,” I tell my Polynesian African American Football-playing Gaul-ish Warrior Irish Jewish son. “You go get the tattoo and the big diamond studs, and when you get back I’ll have you a torc all whipped up.”
“I don’t think I like your tone.” Says Jake, grinning from ear to ear.
“My tone is awesome.”
And with that, he heads off to do homework, and several days later he buys this:
I love him so much.