Dear Amy: Our adult daughter, married with children, got a tattoo with a scripture reference and a cross on the inside of her wrist. She sent us a text with pictures explaining her reason for that tattoo and the use of that particular scripture. She was excited about it.
She had previously mentioned getting a tattoo, so we were not surprised. It was her explanation and the placement and content of the tattoo that surprised us, and we did not respond. We are all Christians, but we do not like the verse she chose. We also think she should have put it in a more private place.
We do not think she made a wise choice but also know she didn’t ask us for approval. And yet we feel she wants our approval.
Do we remain silent? Sooner or later, we think, she will ask us what we think. It can’t be undone, so whatever we think is a moot point. Are we being petty?
Amy says: Yes, you are being petty. She is an adult, this is her choice, and she is excitedly telling you about it after the fact. If you don’t like it, you can respond, “I wouldn’t put that particular text on my wrist, but it’s your body, and I hope you are happy with your choice.”
Dear Amy: You ran a letter from a woman whose daughter’s partner was about to have their child. She was upset because the child would not have their surname.
Our son was the sperm donor to a lady in her 40s who wanted a baby. When the child was born, she invited us to be grandparents! It was the best gift we’ve ever received. Our son had to sign legal papers that he has no rights to this child; however, the two married women who are parents to the child allow our son to be part of her life. We see her every year when we go visit them in San Francisco, they have visited and stayed with us, and it’s the best extended family situation you can imagine.
It’s not the name, legal rights or anything like that — it’s the child! We love this little girl with all our hearts, and she loves us. That’s the only thing in the world that matters. We’ve “adopted” other children as grandchildren, and each one is dear and precious to us, and we’re so thankful to their parents for sharing them with us.
The writer is missing the whole point. This isn’t about her; it’s about the gift of a child. I hope she learns to look for the joy in life instead of picking out negatives — it will change her life for the better.
Amy says: Many families don’t share DNA or a surname. But sometimes the best family you can be a part of is the one you create for yourself. Well done to all of you.
Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.