These Kids Tattooing Their Dad Will Make You Happy
When I was little, my dad liked riding on his dirt bike in the orange groves, archery and playing his guitar. It’s probably not surprising, my favorite things to do with him were go on rides, shoot a bow and arrow at targets, and listen to him play music. Later, when I was a teenager, he taught me cords on his guitar. Even though I never really ended up learning how to play, I still look back at it as a fond memory.
Children seem to like to do what their dads enjoy doing, I’m sure there’s a study out there proving it to be true. Look around you – kids going fishing with their dads, riding bikes or golfing. Kids are curious about their dad’s interests. When a dad is a tattoo artist or a tattoo enthusiast, it seems natural for their children to want to be a part of it.
I have two daughters and their dad is a tattoo artist (who goes by the name Aaron Is). My oldest daughter, Mina, tattooed him for the first time when she was 4 years old. The memory of that will forever be visible on his left foot – a little scribble mark that, in its own way, says “Mina.” It all started because she loved watching him tattoo. He would show her what he was doing and would explain each step to her. Mina told Aaron she wanted to do a tattoo, so he started her off having her draw on a piece of paper with a pencil attached to the end of a tattoo machine. He wanted to make sure she could hold the machine. When it was time for her to tattoo, he walked her through it. Aaron controlled the pedal while she controlled the machine in her little gloved hands. From then on, Mina had the chance to tattoo her dad every year during the Tampa Tattoo Fest. It became tradition. One year Aaron made sure Mina could own an award at the convention – “best tattoo ever.”
Mina has tattooed a pencil writing “I love you,” a canoe with a flag, a fish and other designs of her own. My now 14-year-old has done almost 20 tattoos, all of which have been done on her father with the exception of one.
When she was 7 years old, during one of her tattoo convention appearances, Mina tattooed the original Mike Myers – Tony Moran. He had a 7-year-old at the time and was so impressed by Mina’s tattoos, he had her do his very first one – a green four-leafed clover.
My now 12-year-old daughter Molly, did not muster up the courage to tattoo her dad until she was 6 years old. Her first tattoo was of a cat, thinking of a fish. Since then she has tattooed a pig, thinking of a hot dog, a goat girl, a daddy hamburger and an adorable dinosaur.
The girls love going to their dad’s tattoo shop, drawing with him and learning about his art. It’s what he does and it’s one of the many things they like doing with him. Recently, Aaron and the girls helped another father-daughter duo bond over a tattoo. One of Aaron’s clients, Adam Burse, wanted to do something special for his daughter on her 10th birthday. He wanted to give her a chance to tattoo her dad.
My girls and their dad helped coach Liana through her first tattoo, a jellyfish. She came up with the idea of a jellyfish after her dad was stung by one while they were on vacation last year. Burse said the tattoo was a great experience for both him and his daughter. “She was really excited but got nervous and scared at the last second. She was afraid that it would hurt me or that she would make a mistake.”
Aaron and my daughters helped talk her through the whole process. Molly, my younger daughter, encouraged Liana and took photos of her tattooing her father, so she would have the photos to cherish.
My girls had a blast seeing another little girl doing what they have done for years. Her dad, Adam said, “She is super proud of herself and I’m proud of her too.”
There was some controversy last year, after a photo of a 4-year-old tattooing her dad went viral on Facebook. There were comments that somehow the little girl was put in danger because she was tattooing her dad. When I told the girls about this they laughed and shook their heads in disbelief. They know there is no harm to a little girl drawing on her dad – it’s just an awesome memory and a chance to give dad a piece of art that he will have forever.
Maybe my girls will become tattoo artists and be able to say they got their start because of their dad, and maybe they won’t – either way they will still have stories to tell.
Misty is a mother to one teenager, one almost teenager and a full grown boyfriend. She raised her children as a single-mom for years surrounding herself with a diverse village of family, friends, punkymoms, artists and curmudgeon journalists. She has managed to teach them the ways of coexisting in many worlds, believes and ways of life. She lives in Florida were she is writer, painter and social media maven.
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