Tuesday, March 14, 2017

My Tattoo Story
My sons are Philip & Brian (30 and 31 years old this year). We met when they were 10 and 11. Soon after that Julie and I married, 19 years ago this year. As a blended family we have three last names. 

In 2000-2001, the four of us spent a year in China together. We all took the same Chinese surname (Lei, top character on left) and then individual Chinese given names. When my sons suggested to me, some years later, that all four of us should get a tattoo that reads ‘Lei Family’ … how could I refuse?

I was never a tattoo guy. Never captured my imagination. But then the boys wanted us all to brand ourselves as one family. Sign me up! We all got a tattoo of the two characters you can see on the left.

For our entire lives together we have had the drawing below framed in our kitchen. Brian drew it in first grade. Over the years it has grown into something of personal motto, rooted in our amazing family bond. 

You can see to the right the tattoo I subsequently got on my left forearm and what a great job the artist (a volleyball friend) did making it look like the original crayon. Julie and Philip both have individual gold fish from the same drawing.

Between these two, my wife published her fourth novel, Breathe. Because it is the title of her novel and because both of us find comfort reminding ourselves to ‘just breathe’ in challenging situations, we each got that tattooed on our left forearms. 

Never thought I would ever have a tattoo, but that is my tattoo story. And I'm stickin' with it.

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