Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Why I Came Out of "Retirement"

    This has been a rough spring and summer here at the House of AuSome. Liam hasn't been able to shake his last depressive cycle for months. It's been one hell of a roller coaster ride, for him, and for us, his family. He's finally starting to cycle to manic. (Of course he is. I ran out of melatonin and am broke until Monday! Special Needs Mom humor there :) )

    Anyway, a few months ago I learned about the Semicolon Project. (Click the name for more info if you haven't heard of it yet.) I LOVED it! The meaning really struck my heart strings. I immediately drew a semicolon on my wrist and shared the photo. It was then that I knew that I needed this permanently.

    (For those that haven't followed us from the beginning, or those with a shoddy memory like me, I used to be a tattoo artist. I gave it up to be a mommy. A mommy to a very special boy, who is my greatest creation ever! So in essence, I'm "retired.")

    Not only is Liam affected by Bipolar Disorder, but so is my Aunt, and my Grammy. So for me, this tattoo was a must have. I asked Pita what he thought. He knows that once my mind is set, it doesn't really matter what he says, but he goes with it. ;) I wanted him to join me though. I thought that we could both get one, in support of our boy. He of course agreed.

    And then I had second thoughts..... You see, I also suffer from Fibromyalgia, so I was worried about being able to tattoo again. I decided that the semicolon was small enough, that I could handle it. If my son can handle all that he does, then I could suck this up!

    So once we had a bit of "extra" money, I ordered some ink and tubes. Thankfully I still had sealed needles. I couldn't wait for the supplies to arrive.  They came in on Monday. As soon as they did, Liam and I got out my tattoo equipment and got started!

    Liam sat and helped me get all set up. He actively engaged in what I was saying, and asked questions along the way. He shook the ink for me. (I think he really just enjoyed the sound of the ball bearing that rattled inside.)

    He asked if it hurt. He asked to see the needles. He then informed me, "Put those away or I may pass out mama!" Then he heard the buzz of the machine and he was enthralled. He held my spray bottle of green soap and sprayed for me, each time I paused the machine.

    In 10 minutes, my semicolon was done. I reminded Liam again what it meant and he beamed. Pita came out for his, and then Liam lost interest. (Hey, I got a good 15 minutes out of him, so I was impressed!)
My semicolon! I love it! Pita's is in the same place, but opposite hand.

    We shared our pics to facebook and by that evening, 2 more people in our extended family reached out to join in. They wanted something a little different though. I got to work drawing it up, and they were in love.

    The next day we went over so I could do their tattoos. We explained to Liam that they too wanted to support him. He just smiled. While I tattooed them, he swam and played under Daddy's watchful eye. I sat, silently wondering, how much of what we told him about the tattoos did he understand?

Liam's Aunts tattoos

    On the way home we had to stop at a store for milk. When Pita came out, he was grinning. "Hey hon! That girl at the register saw my tattoo. She has one too!" Liam piped up, "ANOTHER SUPPORTER FOR ME! YAY MAMA! NOW I NEED ONE!"

    He gets it! He understands. When we got home, he brought me a marker. "Mama, I'm ready for my semicolon, because I want to pause and think,  my life is important!"

    And there you have it folks. From the mouths of babes. <3

Liam's "tattoo" it's faded because he's sweaty!